- 9,99 €
SHORTLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD
'What a ride!' India Knight, Sunday Times Summer reads
'Thrilling… a sumptuous feast of plotting and intrigue' Mail on Sunday
'A complete joy' Bettany Hughes
'Gloriously immersive' Guardian
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world.
Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.
When these two very different women meet in strange circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.
Anne and Frankie dare to seek a little happiness for themselves in this extravagant, savage hunting ground. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.
Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.
The brilliant adult fiction debut from historian and YA author Jago (The Northern Lights) fictionalizes a 17th-century London murder. Anne Turner, a skilled herbalist with a gift for fashion, leads a comfortable middle-class life with her physician husband and six children. Frances "Frankie" Devereux, a member of the powerful Howard family, is married to the physically abusive Earl of Essex. When the two women meet in 1609, they feel a "profound sense of recognition" despite their differences in age, situation, and class. The following year, Anne's husband's death leaves her and the children impoverished, while Frankie becomes infatuated with Robert Carr, King James's favorite courtier. As Carr falls in love with Frankie, his doting friend Thomas Overbury, a bitter misogynist who loathes the Howards, grows jealous. Frankie's family decides to arrange the annulment of her marriage to Essex, but salacious rumors spread by Overbury sabotage her reputation and their plan. Swayed by Frankie's misery and reliant on her financial assistance, Anne accedes to her friend's conviction that Overbury must die. "If I were a man, I could end this with a duel," Frankie says as the two decide to poison him. Jago's striking depictions of bearbaiting and court mourning, wedding breakfasts and adulterous trysts capture both the brutality and the refinement of Jacobean London. Anne's shrewd narration grounds the novel's explosive drama even as she slides toward mortal danger one apparently logical choice at a time. It adds up to a remarkable exploration of the power, limits, and price of women's friendship. This is a sparkling achievement.