On Sale: September 19, 2023
Featuring: Annie Simpkins; Hannah; Mary Tyrell
Hardcover / e-Book
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Romance Historical | Women's Fiction Historical
Norfolk, 1813. In the quiet Waveney Valley, the body of a woman – Mary Tyrell – is staked through the heart after her death by suicide. She had been under arrest for the suspected murder of her newborn child. Mary leaves behind a young daughter, Hannah, who is later sent away to the Refuge for the Destitute in London, where she will be trained for a life of domestic service.
It is at the Refuge that Hannah meets Annie Simpkins, a fellow resident, and together they forge a friendship that deepens into passionate love. But the strength of this bond is put to the test when the girls are caught stealing from the Refuge's laundry, and they are sentenced to transportation to Botany Bay, setting them on separate paths that may never cross again.
Drawing on real events, The Low Road is a gripping, atmospheric tale that brings to life the forgotten voices of the past – convicts, servants, the rural poor – as well as a moving evocation of love that blossomed in the face of prejudice and ill fortune.
‘A darkly gripping picaresque tale of cruelty, courage and kindness as an orphaned girl survives poverty and injustice to seek love on the other side of the world’ (Maggie Gee).
'The Low Road is a tough read, paradoxically, because of the empathy with which Quarmby tells her story; tougher, too, because it is based on true events' (Katherine Mezzacapa, Historical Novel Society).
'The descriptiveness of Hannah’s thoughts, her environments, the conditions, the women she meets, and the controlling men that impact her life, all make this story so credible and riveting. You feel as if you are there with her ... It is important that stories like Hannah’s are preserved. It is a very thought-provoking read' (Beauty and Lace Book Club).
'Vibrant...this page-turning tale of forbidden passion and a woman’s ultimate triumph over adversity. A traditional saga, harking back to the glory days of Catherine Cookson, but with a very modern twist which is sure to appeal to today’s reader’(Michelle Styles).
‘A heart-rending story, impeccably researched, packed with rich and realistic detail, and reminiscent of the work of Charlotte Brontë and Sarah Waters' (Jane Harris).
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