‘A warm, sweet love story, and a thought-provoking examination of the British slave trade and its legacy’ MARIAN KEYES

When Layla and Andy first meet, they can't believe they have the same surname. It feels like fate… until they realise their families could be linked in the worst possible way.

Sera, Layla’s best friend, has her doubts about Andy right from the start. As the couple fall deeper in love, and start to plan their future, Sera becomes more and more vocal about Layla settling down with a white boy. And then, only a few weeks before their wedding, Layla makes a devastating discovery....

What seemed like a fairy-tale romance is rapidly derailed as Layla begins to uncover parts of her history and identity that she had never imagined – or, perhaps, had simply learnt to ignore.

And now, she faces an impossible choice, between past and future, friendship and marriage, the personal and the political.


'I loved this book' JACQUELINE CROOKS, author of Fire Rush


‘Tender, thought-provoking and hard-hitting’
‘Kept me second guessing how things would turn out until the very end’
‘Incredibly thought-provoking’
‘Such an important novel’
‘I laughed, I cried, I learned A LOT’
‘So much more than a love story’


  • A powerful and thought-provoking debut from a writer destined for greatness
    Red, Sarra Manning

About the author

Phoebe McIntosh

Phoebe McIntosh is an actor and playwright from London. She wrote and performed in a sell-out run of her first play, The Tea Diaries, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, followed by her solo show, Dominoes, which toured the South East and London in 2018. She has completed the Soho Theatre Writers' Lab programme, and her most recent full-length play, The Soon Life, was shortlisted and highly commended for the Tony Craze Award as well as being longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. Phoebe won a place on the inaugural Tamasha x Hachette creative writing programme in 2018 and was also selected for the Penguin Random House WriteNow programme in 2020. Dominoes was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2021.
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