Winchelsea (Hardback)Alex Preston (author)
Immensely evocative of the salty seascapes of seventeenth-century Britain, Preston's riveting historical novel sends a young woman into a cut-throat world of smugglers in a quest to avenge her father's vicious slaying.
The year is 1742. Goody Brown, saved from drowning and adopted when just a babe, has grown up happily in the smuggling town of Winchelsea. Then, when Goody turns sixteen, her father is murdered in the night by men he thought were friends.
To find justice in a lawless land, Goody must enter the cut-throat world of her father's killers. With her beloved brother Francis, she joins a rival gang of smugglers. Facing high seas and desperate villains, she also discovers something else: an existence without constraints or expectations, a taste for danger that makes her blood run fast.
Goody was never born to be a gentlewoman. But what will she become instead?
Winchelsea is an electrifying story of vengeance and transformation; a rare, lyrical and transporting work of historical imagination that makes the past so real we can touch it.
Publisher: Canongate Books
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 464 g
Dimensions: 220 x 144 x 33 mm
'I was riveted. Winchelsea is a great read - terrific narrative drive, credible characters, and such an elegant creation of the backdrop in terms of both time and place' - Penelope Lively
'Winchelsea and its fierce young heroine swept me away on an irresistible tide of adventure, revenge, horror, love, smuggling and high drama on land and sea. What a brilliant idea to rework Moonfleet, but add some contemporary touches to the mix. Huge fun, superbly atmospheric and thoroughly enjoyable' - Amanda Craig
'Winchelsea is a remarkable act of literary time travel: dark and gripping and soaked in blood and salt water' - Evie Wyld
'There's a wild piratical darkness to Winchelsea which is charged by the evocative and strange wilderness of its setting on the Romney Marshes. At its heart is a gripping tale: a life-and-death struggle, set in the eighteenth century yet vibrantly heightened by a sureness of visceral detail and a vivid depth of characterisation. This is historical drama on a deft and uproarious scale, and it makes for a breathlessly exciting and engaging read' - Philip Hoare
'What a story! What a heroine! What an adventure! Alex Preston sweeps you from scene to scene, surprise to surprise with all the deft theatricality and fluency of a modern Robert Louis Stevenson. I have rarely read anything so vivid or that makes the eighteenth century, with all its ambitions, terrors, desires and sheer juiciness, so grippingly alive. Huzzah!' - Adam Nicolson
'Beautifully told and expertly crafted, a moving and evocative tale of longing and belonging' - Peter Frankopan
'Wilkie Collins, eat your heart out! The novel is so very impressive and so saturated with atmosphere and rich in mystery - it flows so freely, takes risks other novels might dodge, and transports us into an entirely different world. It is drenched in a love of place and history, and a perfect record of a hybrid life' - Jonathan Lee
'The adventures of a wild, cross-dressing teenage girl and a bloodthirsty smugglers' gang in eighteenth-century Sussex. Goody Brown is an unforgettable character and her story utterly gripping' - Sofia Zinovieff
'Imagine Daphne du Maurier crossed with Quentin Tarantino, and you will have some idea of just what a thrilling, bloody and heady ride this novel is' - Tom Holland
'Atmospheric' - The Daily Mail
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“A good read”
I was sent a copy of Winchelsea by Alex Preston to read and review by NetGalley. This is a fair swashbuckling book about smugglers and survival. Told in three separate parts, narrated in the first person by three of... More
This book was so slow-burner that for the first ⅓ of it I thought I might not finish it at all. But in the end I’m very happy I didn’t leave it. After recounting those first and, frankly, quite... More
“High aims but too crowded”
1742 and the once prosperous town of Winchelsea is now just a haunt for smugglers. For orphan Goody Brown, her world is turned upside down when her adoptive father falls foul of the gang he works with and is mudered.... More
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