Longlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
Shortlisted for the 2017 Costa First Novel Award
New Faces of Fiction 2017, Observer
Observer Fiction to look out for in 2017
The Irish Times What To Look Out for in 2017 from Independent Publishers
Jen Campbell’s ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2017’
Jean Bookish Thoughts ‘Most Anticipated Releases of 2017’
A dark social-realist fairytale, spotlighting the shadowy underside of 1920s England
Summer 1923: the modern world. Orphaned Lucy Marsh climbs into the back of an old army truck and is whisked off to the woods north of London – a land haunted by the past, where lost souls and monsters conceal themselves in the trees.
In a sunlit clearing she meets the ‘funny men’, a quartet of disfigured ex-soldiers named after Dorothy’s companions in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Here are the loved and the damaged, dark forests and darker histories, and the ever-present risk of discovery and violent retribution. Xan Brooks’ stunning debut is heartbreaking, disturbing and redemptive.