A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago
Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court'The Thelma and Louise of the seventeenth century' Lawrence Norfolk'Terrific, rich in colour, character, place and time. If you like your history spiced with sex, scandal and the sweet sensibilities of female friendship, then this is for you' Sarah Dunant 'A fabulous book. Frankie and Anne's world is not just brilliantly evoked but brilliantly sustained.
Lucy Jago doesn't make a single false step. And it's exciting!' Andrew Miller 'Full of colour and intrigue ... Jago has a great flair for the sensuous image and evokes the heady mix of gaudy glamour and grime that characterises the era with a distinctive, dense poetry.
Historical fiction at its scintillating best and most filmic' Susan ElderkinFrances Howard has beauty and a powerful family - and is the most unhappy creature in the world. Anne Turner has wit and talent - but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.
When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise - so long as he remains in favour. With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves.
But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.