Bonfire Night (Signed Copy)
“A a most tender work of art, providing a heartrending look at a couple in love while the world implodes and explodes around them. With the eye of a painter, Bliss uses the finest of brushes to vividly and crisply depict her characters while displaying an astonishing breadth of compassion for the situations in which they must struggle and persevere. Bonfire Night is a treasure of a novel, beautifully written with the unflinching style and subtle psychological insights of such masters as Ian McEwan and Graham Swift.” –Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls
London, 1936: At twenty-one, Kate Grifferty is a press photographer in a Fleet Street agency, an unusual job for a young woman. But Kate is both talented and daring, recklessly going wherever the story might be—including, one October day, to an anti-fascism protest in East London. There, she meets David Rabatkin, a brilliant Jewish medical student. While his idealistic brother is eager to go to Spain and join the fight for the Republic, David knows where his path lies: at home, fulfilling the expectations of his profession and his family.
Kate is exposed for the first time to the dangers and demands of David’s world, where marrying within the Jewish faith is seen as not only preferable, but key to survival. Kate neither expects nor wants to be any man’s wife, hampered by convention. And though she and David are both outsiders, as war looms, other differences between them are thrown into sharp relief.
Brighton, 1940: Catastrophe forces Kate to flee London and the onslaught of war finds her working at her sister’s seaside boarding house, while David tends patients at a busy London hospital as the Blitz rages. But Kate’s challenges and disappointments have only deepened her desire to capture images of life unfurling around her, the beauty and violence, struggles and surprising joys. And soon fate and ambition will align, providing her with the chance to make her mark at last . . .