A story of an epic love and an unsolved murder from the author of the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club hit, Summertime
Meet Alicia Cortez: survivor, healer...murderer?
1993, Key West, Florida. When a Ku Klux Klan official is shot in broad daylight, all eyes turn to the person holding the gun: a 96-year-old Cuban woman who will say nothing except to admit her guilt.
1919. Mixed-race Alicia Cortez arrives in Key West exiled in disgrace from her family in Havana. At the same time, damaged war hero John Morales returns home on the last US troop ship from Europe. As love draws them closer in this time of racial segregation, people are watching, including Dwayne Campbell, poised on the brink of manhood and struggling to do what's right. And then the Ku Klux Klan comes to town...
Inspired by real events, AT FIRST LIGHT weaves together a decades-old grievance and the consequences of a promise made as the sun rose on a dark day in American history.
Utterly immersive, I savoured every sentence of this wonderful novel. A love story which is both tragic and uplifting - Juliet West, author of The Faithful
Illuminates a shady period of American history with panache, style and a hearty punch to the gut. In Alicia Cortez she has created one of the most engaging heroines to walk across the pages of a historical novel in a long while - Jason Hewitt, author of Devastation Road
Praise for Vanessa Lafaye's Richard and Judy selected debut Summertime:
Lafaye has created a taut and powerful novel that I found deeply moving - Daily Mail
I absolutely loved Summertime; it's every bit as good as The Help - Elizabeth Noble
I loved this dark yet sunlit story of love and revenge - Lissa Evans, author of Their Finest
Vanessa Lafaye was born in Tallahassee and raised in Tampa, Florida, where there were hurricanes most years. She first came to the UK in 1987 looking for adventure, and found it. After spells of living in Paris and Oxford, she now lives in Marlborough, Wiltshire, with her husband and three furry children. Vanessa leads the local community choir, and music and writing are big parts of her life.