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The Butcher's Hook

The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

Our book club choice for March is the debut novel from actress and presenter Janet Ellis: The Butcher's Hook is the brilliantly dark and unexpected tale of a young girl in 18th-century London determined to take her life in her own hands, at any cost... 

Georgian London, the summer of 1763, and Anne Jaccob is coming of age. Sheltered by her well-to-do family in a miserable home, she is restless and eager to learn, and is thrilled when her father’s great friend, Dr Edwards becomes her tutor.

When this man that she reveres takes advantage of her, her powerlessness in the world is brought home to her. Her saviour appears in the form of Fub, the butcher's apprentice, whose presence awakens her to the possibility of passion and joy. A determined young woman, Anne pursues Fub – though her parents have already chosen her husband and she knows it goes against their wishes. But will what she learns in Fub's company actually be her salvation, or her damnation? And is Anne willing to pursue her happiness no matter what the cost?

A sweeping, but intimate, tale The Butcher's Hook immerses you in the colour and atmosphere of Georgian London, brims with the excitement and envy of love and obsession and, in Anne Jaccob, brings you a vivid, enthralling and unforgettable narrator – a voice that will stay with you long after the story has reached its gripping denouement.

"Ellis has created something marvellous in the character of Anne Jacob - her voice is strange, dark and utterly mesmeric. This is historical fiction as I've never encountered it before: full of viscera, snarling humour and obsessive desire. I loved it." Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites

Janet Ellis is a television presenter, actress, mum and gran, best known for presenting the BBC children's television programmes Blue Peter and Jigsaw. She has recently graduated from the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. The Butcher's Hook is her first novel.

The Butcher's Hook is available online and from all good booksellers. Don't forget that if you do receive one of our free copies you will need to add your questions and comments for Janet to the thread before the end of March.