Gulliver's Wife - Lauren Chater
Birth. Death. Wonder … One woman’s journey to the edge of love and loyalty from the bestselling author of The Lace Weaver
London, 1702. When her husband is lost at sea, Mary Burton Gulliver, midwife and herbalist, is forced to rebuild her life without him. But three years later when Lemuel Gulliver is brought home, fevered and communicating only in riddles, her ordered world is turned upside down.
In a climate of desperate poverty and violence, Mary is caught in a crossfire of suspicion and fear driven by her husband’s outlandish claims, and it is up to her to navigate a passage to safety for herself and her daughter, and the vulnerable women in her care.
When a fellow sailor, a dangerous man with nothing to lose, appears to hold sway over her husband, Mary’s world descends deeper into chaos, and she must set out on her own journey to discover the truth of Gulliver’s travels . . . and the landscape of her own heart.
Praise for Gulliver’s Wife
‘Gulliver’s Wife is utterly spellbinding. Lauren Chater is a master of story-weaving and exquisite detail. I adored this book.’ –Melissa Ashley, bestselling author of The Birdman’s Wife
‘Lauren Chater’s Mary Gulliver is an extraordinary character – a performer of everyday miracles, a woman of quiet strength and compassion in a world where nothing can be relied on, least of all her flamboyant fantasist of a husband. Set in a fictional past, this superbly written story of love, loss, motherhood, and letting go is highly relevant to the issues we face today. Do not miss it.’ – Meg Keneally, author of Fled
‘Bold, evocative and brave – Gulliver’s Wife is a revelation in story-telling. I am in awe of Lauren Chater’s talent. Gulliver’s Wife had my heart from the opening line and didn’t let go until long after I finished the final page. An exquisitely told tale of love, loss and the magic of life.’ – Tess Woods, author of Love and Other Battles
‘A vividly imagined and gloriously told tale. Gulliver’s Wife explores both the wonders and terrors of life as a woman in eighteenth century England and brings Mary Gulliver powerfully and enthrallingly to life.’ – Natasha Lester, author of The French Photographer
‘An imaginative tour-de-force!’ – Bestselling author Kate Forsyth
‘Filled with evocative details of life in early 1700s London, Gulliver’s Wife is an enthralling reimagining of the lives of the women around Lemuel Gulliver, and an invitation to consider the untold stories of women throughout the history of literature.’ – Sarah Armstrong, author of His Other House
‘Gulliver’s Wife is exquisite, empathetic and engrossing storytelling from an extraordinarily gifted writer.’ – Wendy Dunn, Backstory journal
‘A beautifully written novel that maintains a page-turning pace, heightened suspense and literal wonder on every page’ – Cass Moriarty, author of The Promise Seed
‘Absorbing, insightful and finely imagined ... In its powerful portrayal of woman’s struggle for agency and control of her body, the novel presses its face into our own day’ – Robyn Cadwallader, author of The Anchoress
'Chater’s Gulliver’s Wife is a richly imagined tale that unravels the love between a mother and her daughter: it is a book of fears and secrets, of dark battles, of fraught but tender reconciliations, and of sweet epiphanies. Vivid storytelling from an exceptional writer.' – Catherine McKinnon, author of Storyland (nominated for the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award)
‘Wise, tender and heartening … Chater shows a deft hand in authentically recreating the challenges and injustices faced by the spirited women in her novel so that their setbacks and triumphs felt like my own’ – Sally Piper, author of The Geography of Friendship