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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

"The Finery" by Rachel Grosvenor: A Feminist Fantasy Epic Fueled by Courage and Rebellion


I am thrilled to introduce you to a remarkable debut novel that will ignite your imagination and challenge your perceptions this August. "The Finery" by Rachel Grosvenor is a feminist fantasy/magical realism masterpiece, where the indomitable spirit of a 100-year-old professor takes on a tyrannical government in an epic battle for freedom and justice.


(Photo Liv at House of Books and Friends, Manchester)

In a genre that seldom features powerful centenarian protagonists, Grosvenor's storytelling prowess shines brightly. From the very first line, "There had been a murder," readers are plunged into a world teeming with intrigue and possibility. Our unlikely hero, Wendowleen, and her loyal, sentient wolf companion embark on an extraordinary journey that reminded me of the beloved novel "The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry."


What sets "The Finery" apart is the delicate blend of fantasy elements and real-world societal issues. The narrative deftly incorporates Terry Pratchett-esque humor, while exposing corrupt government policies reminiscent of the 80s Tory regime. The echoes of the bedroom tax and the implementation of a city curfew at 8pm add depth to the story, highlighting the author's ability to seamlessly intertwine fantasy with political and feminist fiction.


Wendowleen's wolf, despite being her guardian in her old age, proves to be an endearingly lazy companion who has never quite mastered the art of speaking English. This charming dynamic adds a delightful touch to the narrative, reminiscent of the magical connections found in the world of Harry Potter. However, beneath the comedic undertones lies a deeper, more personal conflict: the shocking revelation that Wendowleen's own son is the dictator behind the oppressive government, making her eviction or destruction a deeply personal matter.


Fans of fantasy literature and those with an affinity for thought-provoking narratives will find "The Finery" an absolute treasure. Rachel Grosvenor's experience as a writing coach and mentor shines through in her masterful storytelling, which seamlessly weaves together themes of resilience, rebellion, and the enduring power of the human spirit.


If you've been yearning for a novel that challenges the conventions of the genre while captivating you with its engaging plot and unforgettable characters, "The Finery" is an absolute must-read. Comparable to Kelly Barnhill's "When We Were Dragons" in its originality and appeal to an adult audience, Grosvenor's debut promises to be a groundbreaking addition to the world of fantasy literature.


Immerse yourself in a world where age is not a barrier, courage knows no bounds, and the fight for freedom takes center stage. Join us as we embrace the enchantment and excitement that awaits within the pages of "The Finery" by Rachel Grosvenor.


Pre-orders are available direct here and from all major book retailers.


Stay tuned for more updates, exclusive author interviews, and exciting literary explorations here at Fly on the Wall Press!


Warmest regards,


Isabelle Kenyon

Managing Director, Fly on the Wall Press

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