The Devil's Dye is an intriguing story that will capture the imagination of readers who enjoy historical and contemporary fiction alike. Set in dark times, when conformity is essential and those who are free spirited are a danger, the story has a background of religious persecution and superstition.
The De Hems are a successful weaving family, invited to England by Queen Elizabeth in 1566. Settling in Norwich, this group of immigrants are known as The Strangers.
Jowan de Hem, the protagonist, is lively, young and full of human complexities. His turmoils and adventures are relatable and his relationships become the reader's own. When he marries innocent Eliza, the reader hopes all will be well but is soon aware of the challenges this relationship will have to face. Balancing poignancy with humour, this warm tale is beautiful in its simplicity and memorable in its many layers. It brings history to life, bringing new possibilities to the Black Shuck legends of East Anglia, as the story unfolds.
As Jowan struggles to contain his self-destructive desires, the focus of the story becomes as much Eliza's, as their love and loss, hope and tragedy create the final twist in the tale.