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Gabi's Review


18th Century Sussex, merchant pirate adventure beautifully voiced and imagined! The notable reviews, the likes of Penelope Lively, Amanda Craig, Adam Nicholson and Tom Holland say it better than I can.


Publishers Review


The year is 1742. Goody Brown, saved from drowning and adopted when just a babe, has grown up happily in the smuggling town of Winchelsea. Then, when Goody turns sixteen, her father is murdered in the night by men he thought were friends.

To find justice in a lawless land, Goody must enter the cut-throat world of her father's killers. With her beloved brother Francis, she joins a rival gang of smugglers. Facing high seas and desperate villains, she also discovers something else an existence without constraints or expectations, a taste for danger that makes her blood run fast.

Goody was never born to be a gentlewoman. But what will she become instead

Winchelsea is an electrifying story of vengeance and transformation; a rare, lyrical and transporting work of historical imagination that makes the past so real we can touch it.



Notable Reviews


'Imagine Daphne du Maurier crossed with Quentin Tarantino, and you will have some idea of just what a thrilling, bloody and heady ride this novel is' - TOM HOLLAND


'I was riveted. Winchelsea is a great read - terrific narrative drive, credible characters, and such an elegant creation of the backdrop in terms of both time and place' - PENELOPE LIVELY


'Winchelsea and its fierce young heroine swept me away on an irresistible tide of adventure, revenge, horror, love, smuggling and high drama on land and sea. What a brilliant idea to rework Moonfleet, but add some contemporary touches to the mix. Huge fun, superbly atmospheric and thoroughly enjoyable' - AMANDA CRAIG


'What a story! What a heroine! What an adventure! Alex Preston sweeps you from scene to scene, surprise to surprise with all the deft theatricality and fluency of a modern Robert Louis Stevenson. I have rarely read anything so vivid or that makes the eighteenth century, with all its ambitions, terrors, desires and sheer juiciness, so grippingly alive. Huzzah!' - ADAM NICOLSON


'Exhilarating . . . Preston's flair for recreating atmosphere and contemporary speech is immaculate' - Financial Times