'An urgent story told beautifully' - Dolly Alderton
'Gripping, unflinching and elegant' - Sophie Mackintosh
A powerful, unforgettable story about modern love, privilege and a young woman's journey after her life falls apart.
When Kate meets Max in the first week of university, a life-changing friendship begins. Over the next four years, the two become inseparable. But loving Max means knowing his family: the wealthy Rippons, all generosity, social ease and quiet repression.
Theirs is not Kate's world, and yet she finds herself drawn quickly into their gilded lives, and the secrets that lie beneath. Until one summer evening at the Rippons' home, just after graduation, her life is shattered in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs.
An Observer Hottest-Tipped Debut Novelist and Elle One To Watch
'Unforgettable...subversive and sophisticated' Elle
'Outstanding...brilliantly told' Observer
'A writer with a voice as fresh as new paint... Beautiful' The Times
'One of the most powerful debuts you'll ever read' Stylist
'Scorching and original' Sunday Times, Style
'Dazzling... Enthralling' Alexandra Kleeman
'Unputdownable... A powerful and haunting tale' Independent
'If you like David Nicholls, Elizabeth Day, Donna Tartt...it's exceptional' Pandora Sykes
'Compelling... Price's prose glimmers' Mail on Sunday
Moving, vivid, confronting and bold, What Red Was is an urgent story told beautifully
Subversive and sophisticated… [Rosie Price’s] exploration of sexual violence and class makes for an unforgettable read
Bringing together themes of survival, agency, complicity, self-denial and, ultimately, courage, this assured book is one of the most powerful debuts you’ll ever read.
An incredibly nuanced exploration of the complexities of sexual violence, WHAT RED WAS heralds the arrival of a major new literary talent. This is an important book.
WHAT RED WAS is a gripping novel that shines an unflinching light on trauma and its prismatic impact. A deeply necessary book, elegant and assured even as it burns at the centre with cool, clear-eyed rage.
Join us at VINTAGE in a year of challenging ourselves to listen, hear and respond to some of the greatest female writers history has to offer. From Margaret Atwood to Mary Wollstonecraft, revisit your favourites, discover new voices and fill your bookshelf and your year with women’s voices. They matter.