An Almond For a Parrot is the spectacular adult debut from award winning children's author Sally Gardner and be warned it is very much a book for adults. The novel is the tale of the life, loves and romantic and sexual awakening of Tully Truegood.
Following in the footsteps of eighteenth century heroines like Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill, Tully's story begins in 1756 in Newgate Prison where Tully awaits trial for murder. Through a series of recipes and recollections Tully recounts her journey from a neglected childhood with her drunken father to a life of luxury as the mistress of a Lord.
Treated as little more than a servant by her father, who gambled and drank away what little money they had after her mother's death, the only kindness Tully receives is from a indifferent gin-soaked cook. Her father trades Tully like a commodity; at 12 she is a bride in a "Fleet Marriage" at 16 she is the payment for a gambling debt. Tully enjoys fleeting happiness when her father brings home a new wife; as she has the kindness of a mother and a chance at learning, as well as new gowns and shoes but it is all too soon snatched away. When Tully finally makes her escape from her father's house it is the first time she has ever set foot outside and she is dazzled and thus begins her progress through the highs and lows of the decadent London of the eighteenth century.
With a powerful physic ability and a beautiful face Tully is soon the most celebrated courtesan of her age, before a shadowy figure from her past emerges to challenge her safety and position.
This is an incredible page turner full of immaculate period detail and peopled with great characters. A writer to watch. If you are a fan of Debra Daley, Laurie Graham or Sarah Waters then you will love this book.
Publishing next Thursday; 3rd November and coming from new imprint HQ; part of Harper Collins this is a book that should not be missed. An Almond for a Parrot has already been listed in Buzz Feeds 24 most anticipated books of the Autumn and you can expect to hear a lot more buzz about it as publication approaches.
Thanks so much to Sophie Calder at Harper Collins for a copy of the book.