The prospect of a new novel from Helen Dunmore always excites me to the core. Her character-driven historical stories flow effortlessly, filled with emotional detail and small intimacies that linger long after you’ve read the last page. So I was thrilled to read Birdcage Walk, the story of Lizzie, daughter of radical activist Julia Fawkes. The novel is set in 1792, a time of political turmoil, when regular news of the French Revolution both horrifies and fascinates those who read it. Lizzie’s husband has invested everything in Bristol’s housing boom and will surely lose it all with the prospect of war. This is an utterly absorbing and darkly atmospheric novel that I cannot recommend highly enough.
Recommended by Aileen Smyth, Dubray Rathmines