An evocative, romantic novel from the author of THE CONJUROR'S BIRD, a Richard & Judy bestseller, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs
DECEMBER 1919. Tom Allen, uncomfortable in London after five years in uniform, receives an invitation to spend Christmas at Hannesford Court.
It's almost as if nothing has changed. Cards in the library after dinner. The Boxing Day shoot. The New Year ball. Margot.
But Tom hasn't forgotten the professor. A strange meeting in Germany has raised a question in his mind: in all his visits to Hannesford before the War, all those years observing the glittering life of its owners, how much did he ever really see?
Martin Davies grew up in North West England. All his writing is done in cafes, on buses or on tube trains, and an aversion to laptops means that he always works in longhand. He has travelled widely, including in the Middle East and India, and substantial parts of THE UNICORN ROAD were written while travelling through Sicily. He works as a consultant in the broadcasting industry.
Translation rights in Martin's books have now been sold in Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Korea, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Holland.
Martin Davies' book intelligently takes apart the myth of a pre-war idyll and locates conflict and suffering in England itself. — Independent on Sunday
What starts as a story of personal and social displacement, lilts into a drama of unrequited love and secrets that had been buried for five years are exposed to daylight. It begins as a background storyline, but as twist follows twist, the truth is exhumed, building to a crescendo with effects that remain unpredictable right through to the last pages . . . A page-turner that'll attract Downton Abbey fans as well as those who like their post-Great War drama slightly heavier, as in Atonement. This is a literary time machine, recapturing a crueler era while topping the experience with an enticing mystery. — The Book Bag
THE YEAR AFTER is a moving story of love, loss, and the struggle to adapt to the world in the aftermath of that most destructive of conflicts. Combining such lofty themes as war and death with tales of burning passions, unrequited love and unsolved mysteries, the author deftly weaves a compelling and highly readable narrative . . . Davies proves to be a master of the evocative. His descriptions of frosty winter mornings on the moors, or the heady, sweet-smelling days of high summer are breathtaking — We Love This Book
There's a profound mystery at the heart of the family at Hannesford Court and Davies unravels it in lush, painterly prose . . . A joy, and I confess to a certain below-stairs fascination with the workings of this mysterious house. — Saga
I just had to keep reading . . . The perfect holiday read. — Woman
[An] intriguing period novel, which is full of evocative descriptions. — Star
Excels in evoking rural England of the early 20th Century and the closed hierarchical world of the 'big house', and chronicles the shock, grief and bewilderment as this world blows apart. There are obvious echoes of Gone With The Wind. Unlike the antebellum South, aristocratic England was on the winning side in its war but its way of life, if not quite blown away, was badly shaken and lost its sense of permanence and legitimacy. THE YEAR AFTER mix[es] nostalgia and cynicism, a gracious world with a dark underside that maybe deserved to do, if not with so much suffering. — Historical Novels Review
A satisfying mystery with a touch of romance, it also takes on the big themes of loss and grief. Involving. — Herald Sun (Australia)
I'm fond of revisiting the years immediately after World War I, when nostalgia for a lost generation seemed to give everything a wistfully golden glow. Martin Davies seeks this light with his period-piece novel. — Sunday Canberra Times (Australia)
Intricate and imaginative — The Times on THE UNICORN ROAD
The storytelling is masterly. Just as you notice a loose end, the author deftly ties it . . . Loss is stacked upon loss, and yet this novel leaves you oddly uplifted; for all the suffering the characters endure, their courage never deserts them, nor, in the end, do their hopes betray them. — Independent on Sunday on THE UNICORN ROAD
Compelling and poignant . . . a fictional setting which is at once magical and believable — TLS on THE UNICORN ROAD
This magical flight of fancy in the highly charged Middle Ages comes from the lyrical and atmospheric author of the massive bestseller, THE CONJUROR'S BIRD . . . a heady, breathless mix of history, mystery and romance — Daily Mirror on THE UNICORN ROAD
The voice is fantastic... So readable and enjoyable and multi-layered — Boyd Hilton, Radio Five Live on THE UNICORN ROAD
I'm really struck by the voice...Not only is your style extremely elegant but I absolutely believed in the authenticity of this voice...It adds a sense of mystery and farawayness and magic to the story — Joanna Trollope, Radio Five Live on THE UNICORN ROAD