In eighteenth-century Sussex, a young girl seeks revenge for the death of her father – an intoxicating historical novel from the acclaimed author of In Love and War
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.
“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”
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“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”
”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”
”Winchelsea is a remarkable act of literary time travel: dark and gripping and soaked in blood and salt water”
“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”
Alex Preston is an award-winning author of three novels: This Bleeding City, The Revelations and In Love and War, as well as a book of non-fiction As Kingfishers Catch Fire. He writes regularly for the Telegraph, the Economist and Harper’s Bazaar. He reviews books for the Observer’s New Review, Financial Times and Spectator. Alex is co-founder of the Corfu Literary Festival and Patron of Oxford Literary Festival.