Briefly, A Delicious Life (Paperback)
  • Briefly, A Delicious Life (Paperback)
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Briefly, A Delicious Life (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 336 Pages
Published: 22/06/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Joyous, sensual and utterly original, Nell Stevens’ fire-cracker historical debut novel about a ghost of a young girl falling in love with a writer shimmers with intelligence and humour.

Blanca has been dead for a few centuries when she falls in love – instantly and devotedly – with celebrated novelist George Sand. George is unlike anyone Blanca has encountered in hundreds of years of haunting: a woman dressed in men’s clothes, a ferocious writer, a passionate lover of men and women alike and an ambivalent mother.

It is 1838, and George has come to the island of Mallorca with her ailing lover, Frédéric Chopin. As the weather and the locals turn against this strange couple, can the love of a teenage ghost keep them from disaster?

Briefly, A Delicious Life is a story about breaking convention, and about love – yearning, secret, forbidden, unrequited.

'Dazzling' Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces and Milk Fed

‘A luscious, multi-sensory bewitchment of a book’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529083446
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 224 g
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A luscious, multi-sensory bewitchment of a book - Stevens’ writing rings with wit and surprise - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies

I found myself floored by the astonishing freshness of this historical novel . . . A shining work of art, but so deftfully, gracefully done, that it was a struggle to stop myself from turning the pages. Nell Stevens is an original, whose touch is as deft as it is masterful - Elizabeth Macneal, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doll Factory

Stevens is brilliant at describing desire - Guardian

Deeply enjoyable, guileful - Telegraph

A voluptuous delight . . . Like the best historical fiction it is playfully disingenuous . . . the whole book is radiant with life - Financial Times

Truly original . . . brilliant - The Herald

Nell Stevens’s hugely accomplished debut novel evokes a sense both of place and time with a confidence that augurs well for her future career . . . The book is attuned to both contemporary and timeless concerns and grips throughout - Guardian

A teenage ghost falls in love with a writer who doesn’t know she exists in this playful, otherworldly debut novel - Stylist

Electrifyingly beautiful, exhilaratingly clever . . . categorically the most gorgeous first novel I've read in years. It's rare that I come across historical fiction so sensual, so original, so intelligent, and so brimming with love - Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

A gorgeous, wildly seductive novel, shimmering with intelligence, humour and joy. I adored this book. - Sarah Waters, author of Fingersmith and The Paying Guests

A haunting, dazzling tale of all the good stuff: love, sex, music, literature, death, and what happens after. Nell Stevens is a beautiful writer. - Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces and Milk Fed 

A heady yet poignant story about a queer ghost who falls in love - Vogue

This deeply wild debut follows the unconventional love triangle that unfolds between real-life French novelist George Sand, her lover Frédéric Chopin, and the teenage ghost who died over 400 years earlier and pines after George from afar. - Cosmopolitan, Best Summer Reads 2022

An interesting and absorbing read . . . Highly recommended - Times of Tunbridge Wells

Tantalising . . . Stevens is convincing in her portrayal of the haunting nature of desire past and present - Literary Review

There are biographies, and there are novels fictionalising real characters, imagining what might happen 'if'. This one is truly original, as it is a brilliant mix of both . . . Blanca may be a ghost, but her feelings are very real, as are the sights, sounds, smells, and dramas which envelop Sand, Chopin and their family, as they struggle for acceptance, creative freedom and, at times, survival - i

A novel of tremulous beauty, sly wit and deep understanding, Briefly, A Delicious Life is an addictive, sunlit delight - Stuart Evers, author of The Blind Light

A luminous, beguiling exploration of creativity and love - Alice Albinia, author of CWEN

This delightfully weird story of loss, longing and love just begs to fill a rainy afternoon. - Good Housekeeping (USA)

Stevens’ prose is by turns languid and visceral . . . An entrancing and singular exploration of a fascinating historical footnote and a queer life after death. - Kirkus (starred review)

We know we are curious about the dead but imagine a life lived so vibrantly as to make the dead curious about us. Nell Stevens brings a reader into the strange and brilliant artistic exile of George Sand, writing this tender story with tremendous heart and daring. Here, reader, are the low-lying truths of love, art and time - Samantha Hunt, author of The Dark Dark

Stevens' writing is beautiful and evocative of the Majorcan landscape as she slowly develops the arc of Sand and Chopin's affair and elucidates Blanca's life spent in tantalizing anticipation . . . this is a winner with appeal beyond historical fiction readers - Booklist

A haunting (in all senses of the word) and evocative magical realist account of creativity and gender, sexuality and inspiration, a ghost story both gothic and beautiful - The Millions

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Paperback

“Briefly, a wonderful novel!”

A brilliant, beguiling, darkly funny tale of a spirited, subversive young ghost called Blanca, outraged that her life was cut short in her prime, determined to enjoy death to the full, who falls in love with the very... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.

“A delight!”

The year is 1838 and Frédéric Chopin, George Sand and her children travel to a beautiful, isolated and rather run-down monastery in exotic Mallorca in search of peace, tranquility and inspiration.
They are there to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 18

“A beautiful ghost story”

Briefly, A Delicious Life is a beautifully spooky, mysterious novel full of joy and sadness, love and loss. It’s a gorgeous depiction of the human experience and I loved it.

Blanca, a centuries-old teenage ghost,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 17

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