A stunning historical novel, 'The Book of Fires' is the unforgettable story of Agnes Trussel – and love, fireworks and redemption.
Brought up in rural Sussex, seventeen-year-old Agnes Trussel is carrying an unwanted child. Taking advantage of the death of her elderly neighbour, Agnes steals her savings and runs away to London. On her way she encounters the intriguing Lettice Talbot who promises that she will help Agnes upon their arrival. But Agnes soon becomes lost in the dark, labyrinthine city. She ends up at the household of John Blacklock, laconic firework-maker, becoming his first female assistant.
The months pass and it becomes increasingly difficult for Agnes to conceal her secret. Soon she meets Cornelius Soul, seller of gunpowder, and hatches a plan which could save her from ruin. Yet why does John Blacklock so vehemently disapprove of Mr Soul? And what exactly is he keeping from her? Could the housekeeper, Mrs Blight, with her thirst for accounts of hangings, suspect her crime or condition?
Historical fiction at its very best, ‘The Book of Fires' is utterly intriguing, completely compelling and impossible to put down.
'Jane Borodale displays a deft touch in this very pleasing story' MAUREEN WALLER, Daily Telegraph
`Borodale's refreshingly original approach and engaging style makes 'The Book of Fires' a welcome addition to the historical fiction genre' Yorkshire Evening Post
'A dark atmospheric novel from a fantastic new voice in fiction' Bury Free Press, Book of the Week
'This author's debut excels in it's portrayal of the lot of the 18th-century underclass, of the development of the dark art of pyrotechny and of the swift and usually harsh treatment of those whose sole crime was that of poverty... this 'Book of Fireworks' really works and it sparkles along at a fizzingly glorious pace. Literary pyrotechnics on a grand scale' Lady