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.