Fire destroyed her present. Secrets destroyed her past.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself a question. 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 the life they’ve built. 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 - a dream job, equal partnership, living in a quirky old house she adores. She is happy. Their foundations are solid and their future seems secure. But that was before the fire.
Anita stands in the middle of the road watching her home and everything inside it burn to the ground. She and Ed have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Fifteen years of memories gone up in smoke.
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 her mother has kept hidden, a taboo so unspeakable it can only be written down.
The reflection in the mirror may look the same. But everything has changed. Anita thought she knew who she was. But not any more. And when your life goes up in smoke, you can never go home.
Writing Magazine's Self-Published Book of the Year 2016. Authentic and heartbreaking, this intensely human story by award-winner Jane Davis is perfect for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Atkinson and Ali Smith.
‘A firestorm of a novel. Davis reminds us that families often have secrets at their heart: ticking time bombs just waiting for a stray spark.’ – Paul Murphy
Hailed by The Bookseller as 'One to Watch', Jane Davis writes thought-provoking literary page turners with a strong commercial edge. Her first novel ”Half-Truths and White Lies”, won a national award established with the aim of finding 'the next Joanne Harris'. Further recognition followed in 2016 with ”An Unknown Woman” being named Self-Published Book of the Year by Writing Magazine/the David St John Thomas Charitable Trust, as well as being shortlisted in the IAN Awards, and in 2019 with ”Smash all the Windows” winning the inaugural Selfies Book Award. Her latest novel ”At the Stroke of Nine O'Clock”, July 2020, has been featured in The Lady Magazine as one of their favourite books set in the 1950s, selected as a Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice, and shortlisted for the Selfies Book Awards 2021. Jane Davis lives in Carshalton, Surrey.