Girl Reading

Seven portraits.  Seven artists.  Seven girls and women reading.
A young orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena, and an artist’s servant girl in 17th-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles.  A young woman reading in a Shoreditch bar catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture, and a Victorian medium holds a book that she barely acknowledges while she waits for the exposure.
Each chapter of this richly textured debut takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond ― an inspired celebration of women reading and the artists who have caught them in the act.


‘This is a real wow of a first novel … her talent sings off the page.’ The Times
‘A debut of rare individuality and distinction … wise, poised, and utterly original.’ Hilary Mantel
‘An incredible book.’ TV Book Club
‘A lively, irreverent and even feminist journey through history.’Time Out
‘Characters so relatable you’ll feel you know them after a few sentences.’Oprah’s blog
‘Each vignette is a masterfully drawn miniature.’The Telegraph
‘Reads as though its author is five books down.’The Guardian
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