He­len Dun­more

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

Bird­cage Walk

Wind­mill Books, 416 pages, €12.60

The French Revo­lu­tion at the end of the 18th cen­tury is the back­drop for the last novel from his­tor­i­cal nov­el­ist He­len Dun­more, who passed away in June. But it’s not Paris where the book is set but rather Dun­more’s na­tive Bristol.

The plot cen­tres on a group of vi­sion­ar­ies, in­clud­ing Lizzy Fawkes who dreams of an ide­al­is­tic world where wealth is shared for all. But there are storm clouds on the hori­zon: her mar­riage to John Diner Tre­de­vant threat­ens to dam­age all she holds dear. Tre­de­vant is a prop­erty de­vel­oper who is heav­ily in­vested in Bristol’s hous­ing boom and would lose ev­ery­thing from the so­cial up­heaval and the prospect of war. As his project to build a ter­race of man­sions floun­ders, the dark side of his na­ture is ex­posed and Lizzie has tough ques­tions to ask of her fu­ture.

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