From the author of the Orange New Writers shortlisted ‘The Book of Fires’, an extraordinary tale of love and science.
When Henry Lyte brings his young bride Frances home to his Somerset estate, he hopes she will share in his devotion to the garden – a refuge of fruit trees and flower beds, with a knot of herbs at its heart. Henry is a scholar, and his life’s work is his ‘herbal’ – a book of plants and their medicinal properties, intended for those who cannot afford physicians’ expensive cures.
But life on the edges of the flood plains makes Frances uneasy, and there are strange rumours abroad concerning the death of Henry’s first wife – rumours that can be traced to Henry’s step-mother Joan Young, a grasping woman eager to seize control of the family’s lands. And while Henry cannot tear himself from his studies, he stands the risk of losing everything he loves…
”'This is a story about dreams, about the fragility of human achievement and the restorative - and destructive - powers of nature … Surprising and intensely moving.” - Maria McCann, author of The Wilding
”'Pitch-perfect…Time flew as I was transported back to the mid-sixteenth century…Borodale exhibits a breathtaking knowledge of all things rural and horticultural.” - Dove Grey Reader
”'A beautiful book which goes to the heart of a gentle, driven man bringing his dream to life. The malign force he faces is chilling. The detail is touched in with great and subtle skill. ” - James Long, author of Ferney and The Lives She Left Behind
Praise for Jane Borodale’s first novel, THE BOOK OF FIRES: -
'Jane Borodale displays a deft touch in this very pleasing story' MAUREEN WALLER, Daily Telegraph -
”'Borodale's refreshingly original approach and engaging style makes 'The Book of Fires” - a welcome addition to the historical fiction genre'Yorkshire Evening Post