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November 18, 2014



Twelve-year-old Ben has always felt that he was born into the wrong body. When Mary, his therapist, suggests hypnosis as a way to help him understand why he doesn’t identify as a boy, Ben finds himself the unlikely conduit for a herring girl called Annie, who lived over a century earlier in the same fishing port.

Under the spell of hypnosis, Annie comes alive through Ben, and with her the startling story of her life, and her mysterious death. As the events surrounding Annie’s final days start to emerge her secret affair with young fisherman Sam, the violent jealousy of his rival Tom, the pregnancy fears of her best friend Flo, the abject paranoia of her brother Jimmy both Ben and Mary find themselves embroiled in a puzzling saga from the past. And if as psychoanalytic research suggests souls tend to reincarnate in groups repeatedly down the centuries, it could be that those close to Ben today were involved in the dramas of 1898, and a murder could still be among them, waiting to strike again.

Moving back and forth in time between 1898 and the present day, Herring Girl is an extraordinary ambitious novel which evokes a long-vanished world and reveals how the secrets of our past hidden lives are never too far away. 

A vividly imaginative, sensuous and atmospheric novel.

This is the fourth novel from acclaimed author and editor of Mslexia magazine.



From → book review

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