Wiltshire 1860: One year after Darwin's explosive publication of The Origin of Species, sisters Anna and Beatrice Pentecost awaken to a world shattered by science, radicalism and the stirrings of feminist rebellion; a world of charismatic religious movements, Spiritualist seances, bitter loss and medical trauma. Fetishist of working women Arthur Munby, irascible antiquary General Pitt Rivers, feminist Barbara Bodichon and other historical figures of the Victorian epoch wander through the backdrop of the novel, as Anna's anomalous love for Lore Ritter and her friendship with freethinking and ambitious Miriam Sala carry her into areas of uncharted desire - while Beatrice, forced to choose between her beloved Will Anwyl and the evangelist Christian Ritter, who marked her out as a wife when she was only a child, is pulled between passion and duty. Each is riven by inner contradictions, but who will survive when the sisters fall into a fatal conflict with one another?
- Paperback | 350 pages
- 124.46 x 200.66 x 15.24mm | 272.16g
- 01 Apr 2015
- Parthian Books
- Cardigan, United Kingdom
'George Eliot would be impressed.' Historical Novel Society Review 'Stevie Davies's latest novel, her 12th, is charged with sensitivity to the otherness of the past [...] her social comedy breathes life into an oppressive world. [...] Awakening burns with anger against the abuses of the past, while recognising that the present has no right to condescend.' Helen Dunmore, Guardian 'Davies weaves this intricate web of faltering, painful relationships with great skill and writes very powerfully and movingly about the subtle half-tones and tentativeness of love, of childbirth, of loss as well as the horribly intrusive shock of male Victorian medical practice towards women.' Independent
About Stevie Davies
Stevie Davies has won numerous awards for her fiction, and has been long-listed for the Booker and Orange Prizes. Several of her books have been adapted into radio and screenplays. Stevie lives in her home-town of Swansea, where she is Professor of Creative Writing at Swansea University. She is a passionate sea-swimmer, cyclist and walker on the Gower.