Fantastic – a wonderful book. With intelligence, wit and zest, Cwen's matriarchal dream … offers a bold vision of an alternative future, teases at our deep past and subtly weaves together our environment and gender' Lily Cole
'Magical, rich and magnificent' Maxine Peake
'A wild ride! She sees Graves' White Goddess and raises 50 with female magic and transformations' Margaret Atwood
'A rare book, bold and powerful' Xiaolu Guo
'Wild, original…a beautiful work' Neel Mukherjee
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL POLITICAL FICTION BOOK PRIZE 2022
NOMINATED FOR THE OTHERWISE AWARD 2022
On an unnamed archipelago off the east coast of Britain, the impossible has come to pass. Women control the civic institutions. Decide how the islands' money is spent. Run the businesses. Tend to their families. Teach the children hope for a better world. They say that this gynotopia is Eva Levi's life's work, and that now she has disappeared, it will be destroyed. But they don't know about Cwen.
Cwen has been here longer than the civilisation she has returned to haunt. The clouds are her children, and the waves. Her name has ancient roots, reaching down into the earth and halfway around the world. The islands she inhabits have always belonged to women. And she will do anything she can to protect them.
This remarkable novel is a portrait of female power and female potential, both to shelter and to harm. What are we? Islanders or mainlanders, migrants or landowners, men or women, past or future? Or a mixture of them all? And how do we make sense of these islands we call home?