The Testimony of Alys Twist
'Beautifully written' The Times
by Suzannah Dunn
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Pub Date 8 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2021
Little, Brown Book Group UK, Abacus
Arrested by her sister for treason, who in her household can Elizabeth trust?
1553: deeply-divided England rejoices as the rightful heir, Mary Tudor, sweeps to power on a tide of populist goodwill. But the people should have been careful what they wished for: Mary's mission is to turn back time to an England of old. Within weeks there is widespread rebellion in favour of her heir, her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth, who is everything that Mary isn't. From now on, Elizabeth will have to use her considerable guile just to stay alive.
Orphan Alys Twist has come a long way - further than she ever dared hope - to work as a laundress at the royal wardrobe. There she meets Bel, daughter of the Queen's tailor, and seems to have arrived at her own happy ending.
But in a world where appearance is everything, a laundress is in a unique position to see the truth of people's lives, and Alys is pressed into service as a spy in the errant princess's household. Alys herself, though, is hardly whiter than white, and when the princess is arrested she must make a dangerous choice.
Reader praise for The Testimony of Alys Twist
'This is an interesting story with much intrigue. It's rare to find an established novelist who includes Sapphic themes within their work but that is exactly what the author has done here. It's very much a character-driven tale with Alys front and centre' Reader review
'I like Suzannah Dunn's take on Tudor history as she writes well, uses modern vernacular to make historical characters "just like us", and usually does her research on the material aspects of history. Here, she's clearly done her homework' Reader review
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