Heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure, this wonderfully human tale tells the story of a man haunted by his past who risks everything for the chance of redemption.
Shortlisted for the adult fiction category of The Selfies Award 2023.
Silver medalist, The Historical Fiction Company.
‘A story of hidden feelings, of dreams to dream and secrets never to be told.’ ~ Helen Hollick, author
‘Sensational!’ ~ The Historical Fiction Company.
1884. The symptoms of scarlet fever are easily mistaken for teething, as Robert Cooke and his pregnant wife Freya discover at the cost of their two infant sons. Freya immediately isolates for the safety of their unborn child. Cut off from each other, there is no opportunity for husband and wife to teach each other the language of their loss. By the time they meet again, the subject is taboo. But unspoken grief is a dangerous enemy. It bides its time.
A decade later and now a successful businessman, Robert decides to create a pleasure garden in memory of his sons, in the very same place he found refuge as a boy – a disused chalk quarry in Surrey’s Carshalton. But instead of sharing his vision with his wife, he widens the gulf between them by keeping her in the dark. It is another woman who translates his dreams. An obscure yet talented artist called Florence Hoddy, who lives alone with her unmarried brother, painting only what she sees from her window…
‘Jane Davis has written yet another well-researched and page-turning historical novel, both heart-wrenching and delightful. Highly recommended.’ – Historical Novel Society
‘With an eye for precise detail balanced by a sweeping imagination, this beautifully constructed book is built on deep foundations.’ – JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs Series
‘Life as it is, in all its terrible beauty.’ – Jean Gill, author of Historical Fiction series The Troubadours Quartet
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New for 2023, the audiobook of Small Eden is produced by Saga Egmont and narrated by Emma Spurgin Hussey, who appeared in BBC’s Poldark and who has narrated a number of books including The Woman I Was Before and The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher. You can listen to a sample here.
Small Eden receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company.
Small Eden wins silver in the Silver Category of the Historical Fiction Company book awards.