by Stacey Halls
10 June 2021
From the bestselling author of The Familiars and The Foundling comes Stacey Halls' most compelling and ambitious novel to date A gripping feminist mystery where a nanny must travel to a grand house filled with secrets. For there's no such thing as the perfect family... 'Something's not right here. 'I was aware of Mr Booth's eyes on me, and he seemed to hold his breath.
'What do you mean? ''In the house. With the family. 'West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs.
But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there's something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England. Distant and withdrawn, Lilian shows little interest in her children or charming husband, and is far from the 'angel of the house' Ruby was expecting. As the warm, vivacious Charles welcomes Ruby into the family, a series of strange events forces her to question everything she thought she knew.
Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby must face her demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there's no such thing as the perfect family - and she should know. Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception.
Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls' third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times. Praise for MRS ENGLAND: 'Highly atmospheric and tense' Richard Osman 'Mesmerising, entrancing, a spellbinding novel of emotion and mystery, a heroine caught in an impossible world of twists, turns and lies. Gripping to the very last page' Kate Williams 'Full of gothic menace, this Edwardian mystery is convincing and absolutely enthralling' Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City 'Both dazzling and dark, as beautiful as it is disturbing.
A captivating, sensuous novel' Inga Vesper, author of The Long, Long Afternoon 'In precise and evocative prose, Stacey Halls has conjured a devastating, compelling and utterly real world. I was gripped from start to finish' Joanna Glen, Costa shortlisted author of The Other Half of Augusta Hope 'Jaw-droppingly brilliant. Exquisitely written, incredibly atmospheric, a masterclass in rising tension.
The deliciously addictive love-child of Daphne Du Maurier and Henry James' Liz Hyder 'BRILLIANT. An utterly gripping exploration of female fortitude in adversity, with a propulsive, atmospheric plot. Ruby is a wonderful protagonist' Caroline Lea