The word is a spark. They can start a fire with it, or smother it in their fingertips.
She chooses to start a fire.
You are born high, but marry a traitor's son. You bear him twelve children, carry his cause and bury his past.
You play the game, against enemies who wish you ashes. Slowly, you rise.
You are Cecily.
But when the king who governs you proves unfit, what then?
Loyalty or treason - death may follow both. The board is set. Time to make your first move.
Told through the eyes of its greatest unknown protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the closed bedchambers and bloody battlefields of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.
A startling heroine
Cecily stalks the corridors of power like a female Thomas Cromwell. A vividly female perspective on the Wars of the Roses - what a feat
An extraordinary achievement . . .I could touch and breathe Cecily's world as if I was walking in her shadow
CECILY is the WOLF HALL for the 2020s... marks the start of a stellar career
I loved it . . . Annie Garthwaite writes about the past with a kind of restrained, earthy vim, and with the sort of intimacy and immediacy - and empathy - that can only come from graft and craft
A stunning debut. Cecily is an unforgettable heroine... a novel about the power and resourcefulness of women
An intimate, vivid, and compulsively page turning retelling of the Wars of the Roses. At the centre of it all is Cecily herself - ferocious to her enemies, loving to her family, both cannily pragmatic and willing to take the greatest of risks for the greatest of prizes
Like Mantel's work, Garthwaite's memorable book leaps beyond its genre of historical fiction. Garthwaite writes with empathy and a brilliant eye for historical detail. This book is a winner--don't miss it!
Vivid and compelling
A bold, beautiful novel