A magical love story between two circus performers, for fans of Angela Carter and Erin Morgenstern by Costa-shortlisted author Jess Richards.
CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu's Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist.
Danu is in mourning for her parents after a disease has ravaged the circus she calls home. She begins a high-wire act with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. But her mother has entrusted her with a mysterious locket that will lead her down a path Morrie cannot follow.
When the circus visits Danu's birthplace, the magical city of Matryoshka, she goes in search of a stranger who may hold the answer to her past. And when the circus leaves, Danu stays behind.
Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city of circles?
'Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many' Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers
Utterly transporting - The Pool
Enthralling love story about two circus performers, City of Circles is mesmerizing and vividly imagined. - Storgy, Summer Reads
What a rich sensory experience Jess creates for us. What a full and fascinating world. Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many who have struggled to find the quiet sense of themselves in a busy, confusing world. - Ros Barber, author of the Desmond Elliott Prize-winning The Marlowe Papers
Her writing reminds me of Anna Smaill's The Chimes. It is lyrical and sensual, at times dense with wordplay and mythologising. - Landfall Review
Jess Richards invokes, among others, The Interpretation of Dreams, the Brothers Grimm, Angela Carter and Shakespearian comedy. - Guardian
Jess Richards's debut is a cornucopia of secrets and surprises, written in a bright, sassy style. The author is exuberantly inventive in creating a bitter-sweet world of magical transformations. - Independent on SNAKE ROPES
Thematically rich, Cooking With Bones evokes authors like Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter and Jeanette Winterson while retaining a distinct and individual voice. - Glasgow Herald
Snake Ropes could be the first great feminist novel of our times with its ranging and unflinching investigation of symbolic and social abjection, marginalisation an
Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972, and grew up too fast in south west Scotland where she lived with her English parents and three brothers, watching the ferry boats going to and from Northern Ireland. She left home at 17, went over the border to England, and lived for a year in Carlisle, before moving to Devon. She gained a first class degree from Dartington College of Arts when she was 21. After brief stints busking and carrying on in both Leeds and London, she moved to Brighton aged 23 where she has grown up a bit slower, and has lived and worked ever since. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize.