Skip to content


April 28, 2014




Hardback Published 10th April 2014 by Granta books

Bodies of Light tells of the coming together and falling apart of a family of idealist in Victorian Manchester,  Ally’s father paints beautiful women while her evangelical mother visits the slums and campaigns against child prostitution, teaching Ally and her sister May to live for others.  While May likes to pose for the artists in her father’s circle, Ally devotes herself to her mother’s ambition,  working hard to join the first generation of female doctors. But bitterness and tragedy divide the family,  and Ally leaves home to escape the subtle terrors of her childhood and begin a new life in London.

Bodies of Light is a profound and provocative book about family and a radically modern novel with a 19th- century setting.  It is a gripping story told with rare precision and tenderness.

About the author

SARAH MOSS was educated at Oxford University and is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick. She is the author of two novels



which was selected  for the fiction Uncovered Award 2011.  She is also the co  – author of Chocolate A global History. She spent 2009 as a visiting lecturer at the University of Iceland,  and wrote an account of her time there in Names for the Sea Strangers in Iceland, which was shortlisted for the RSL Odaatje Prize 2013.  She is working on a fourth novel, continuing the story of Bodies of Light.

My review

Bodies of Light brings us a beautiful written historical novel set Victorian Manchester. The modern novel about a family with a 19th – century setting.Elizabeth Sanderson has been brought up by her mother’s strict up bringing to believe in god say prayers and read the Bible Elizabeth is very religious she likes to feed the poor and save the prostitutes than embracing the challenges of motherhood..It has come to the time in Elizabeth’s life that she is set to marry in a wedding dress of pebble – grey cut to a length of rough silk that was a christmas from Alfred. Elizabeth invited all the women from her welfare society.Her husband who is an artist who loves to paint . Giving birth to Ally who cries so much drives Elizabeth to evil thoughts. Having a screaming baby is such a rollercoaster change of life for Elizabeth.Unfolding in the story Elizabeth is unsympathetic to her baby crying she knew that before the baby was born she was full of light. Dramatically she would say take my baby give me back my own life and lord. People would say to Elizabeth poor baby which Elizabeth felt upset about as no – one would say poor Elizabeth tired and thirsty and bored beyond despair. Ally grew up intelligent with a losing battle to gain her mother’s approval and affection. As Ally grew older she left home to escape the terrors of her childhood and to begin a new life in London. Ally’s sister May liked to pose for the artists in her father’s circle. A splendid story for readers who like to read historical stories set in the Victorian 19th century. Body of Light is published 10th April 2014. Sarah Moss has also wrote two other fiction novels Cold Earth, and Night waking. Sarah has also wrote a non fiction novel Names for the Sea.Bodies of Light is her third fiction book. I hope that many readers will pick up a copy of Bodies of Light and enjoy reading it as much as I have. Review by




From → book review

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: