An Unknown Woman

By Jane Davis

General fiction, Literary fiction | Paperback, eBook


When you look in the mirror and ask the person staring back, "Who are you?", do you know the answer? At the age of forty-six, Anita Hall knows exactly who she is. She has lived with partner Ed for fifteen years and is proud of all they’ve achieved. They go out into the world separately: Ed with one eye on the future in the world of finance; Anita with one foot in the past, a curator at Hampton Court Palace. This is the life she has chosen - choices that weren’t open to her mother’s generation - her dream job, equal partnership, freedom from the monotony of parenthood, living mortgage-free in a quirky old house she adores. The future seems knowable and secure. But then Anita finds herself standing in the middle of the road watching her home and everything inside it burn to the ground. Before she can come to terms with the magnitude of her loss, hairline cracks begin to appear in her perfect relationship. And returning to her childhood home in search of comfort, she stumbles upon the secret that her mother has kept hidden, a taboo so unspeakable it can only be written about. The reflection in the mirror may look the same. But everything has changed. Authentic and heartbreaking, Davis’s intoxicating new novel is an exploration of identity, not as a fixed point, but as something fragile, shape-shifting and transient.


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When you look in the mirror and ask the person staring back, "Who are you?", do you know the answer? At the age of forty-six, Anita Hall knows exactly who she is. She has lived with partner Ed for fifteen years and is proud of all they’ve achieved. They go out into the world separately: Ed with one eye on the future in the world of finance; Anita with one foot in the past, a curator at Hampton Court Palace. This is the life she has chosen - choices that weren’t open to her mother’s generation - her dream job, equal partnership, freedom from the monotony of parenthood, living mortgage-free in a quirky old house she adores. The future seems knowable and secure. But then Anita finds herself standing in the middle of the road watching her home and everything inside it burn to the ground....


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Jane Davis is the author of six novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as 'A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.' The Bookseller featured her in their 'One to Watch' section. Five further novels have earned her a loyal fan base and wide-spread praise. Regularly compared to more seasoned authors such as Kate Atkinson and Maggie O'Farrell, Compulsion Reads describe Jane as 'a phenomenal writer whose ability to create well-rounded characters that are easy to relate to feels effortless.' Her favourite description of fiction is 'made-up truth'. Jane lives in Carshalton, Surrey, with her Formula 1 obsessed, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. When she is not writing, you may spot Jane disappearing up the side of a mountain with a camera in hand.


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Jane Davis is the author of six novels. Her debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as 'A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.' The Bookseller featured her in their 'One to Watch' section. Five further novels have earned her a loyal fan base and wide-spread...


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New Fiction from an Award-winning Author

9 June

'Simple, elegant and stunning' - Peter Snell, Bookseller


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