An alternative history with a strong feminist twist, perfect for fans of Robert Harris' Fatherland, Christina Dalcher's Vox and the dystopian novels of Margaret Atwood
'READING THIS TERRIFIC, ORWELLIAN NOVEL YOU ALMOST HOLD YOUR BREATH' Bel Mooney
An alternative history with a strong feminist twist, perfect for fans of Robert Harris' Fatherland, Christina Dalcher's Vox and the dystopian novels of Margaret Atwood.
'A TRIUMPH' Amanda Craig
'CONVINCING AND GRIPPING' Elizabeth Buchan
'BRILLIANTLY IMAGINED' Clare Chambers
'TERRIFIC HEROINE' Adele Geras
'VIVIDLY IMAGINED' Nicci French
To control the past, they edited history. To control the future, they edited literature.
London, 1953, Coronation year - but not the Coronation of Elizabeth II.
Thirteen years have passed since a Grand Alliance between Great Britain and Germany was formalized. George VI and his family have been murdered and Edward VIII rules as King. Yet, in practice, all power is vested in Alfred Rosenberg, Britain's Protector. The role and status of women is Rosenberg's particular interest.
Rose Ransom belongs to the elite caste of women and works at the Ministry of Culture, rewriting literature to correct the views of the past. But now she has been given a special task.
Outbreaks of insurgency have been seen across the country; graffiti daubed on public buildings. Disturbingly, the graffiti is made up of lines from forbidden works, subversive words from the voices of women. Suspicion has fallen on Widowland, the run-down slums where childless women over fifty have been banished. These women are known to be mutinous, for they have nothing to lose.
Before the Leader arrives for the Coronation ceremony of King Edward and Queen Wallis, Rose must infiltrate Widowland to find the source of this rebellion and ensure that it is quashed.
'THE MOST IMPORTANT FEMINIST NOVEL IN DECADES' Jane Harris
'A VERY SMART REIMAGINED HISTORY' Henry Porter
'BRIMMING WITH CRACKLING DETAIL, A GRIPPING THRILLER' Miranda Carter
Reading this terrific, Orwellian novel you almost hold your breath, so vivid is Carey's evocation of a dystopia which (you reflect) was surely just a hairsbreadth away. The engaging heroine, vivid scenario and enthralling plot are underpinned by a serious political sensibility - one which turns an accomplished thriller into a warning.
Widowland is a triumph. One of the best counter-factual dystopias ever written about what a Nazi Britain might be like, it not only equals Fatherland and The Handmaid's Tale but, by placing literary heroines at its heart, supersedes them. As witty as it is withering, as thrilling as it is consummately imagined, this deserves to be the bestseller of 2021
All Jane Thynne fans should read her alter ego C J Carey whose Widowland is fabulous! A very stylish and exciting counterfactual set around the coronation of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson. Hitler is still alive and in charge. Rose is a terrific heroine
A brilliantly convincing and gripping dystopian vision. Fantastically detailed and assured, I read it with huge admiration for having pulled off such a terrific novel
Clever, gripping and brilliantly imagined - a brave, bookish heroine takes on the forces of a chillingly convincing post-war dystopia
Widowland is a very smart reimagined history executed with plenty of wit, energy and originality plus there's a rather subtle message for today. Excellent!
Widowland is a fully-realised 1950s dystopia brimming with crackling detail, a gripping thriller and, at a moment when we're having to face our own Imperial past, a slyly vivid account of living under a colonial power
A terrifying, vividly imagined story of a Nazi Britain that might have been. Tense, utterly convincing and, in the end, very moving