Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award, The Words in My Hand (2016) is the story of the relationship between Dutch maid Helena Jans and French philosopher René Descartes. Helena knew Descartes at a pivotal time in his life -- why, then, has she been almost completely overlooked?
The Year Without Summer (2020) -- 'a vision of the past and a vision of the future ― Irish Times' -- a novel of the 1815 Tambora eruption and the devastating year that followed. It is the story of the books written, the art made, the journeys taken, the love longed for and the lives lost during that fateful year. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora - but none could escape its effects. Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.
Privilege (June 2022) is a story of book publishing and censorship, set in mid-18th century England and France. After her father is disgraced, Delphine Vimond is cast out of her home in Rouen and flees to Paris. Into her life tumbles Chancery Smith, apprentice printer sent from London to discover the mysterious author of potentially incendiary papers marked only D. In a battle of wits with the French censor, Henri Gilbert, Delphine and Chancery set off in a frantic search for D's author. But who is D and does D even exist?
Privilege is a story of adventure and mishap set against the turmoil of mid-18th century France at odds with the absolute power of the King who is determined to suppress opposition on pain of death. At a time when books required royal privilege before they could be published - a system enforced by the Chief Censor and a network of spies - many were censored or banned, and their authors harshly punished. Books that fell foul of the system were published outside France and smuggled back in at great risk.