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The Speaker's Wife

The People's Book Prize, 2016

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472122018

Price: £10.99

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The Rev Tom Ross’s quiet and semi-alcoholic life as chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons is about to be shattered.

Pastor Petroc Stone of a central London, evangelical church gives sanctuary to a young man being chased by the police for making an anti-Islamic protest. Politicians rage about the Church of England giving a safe haven to a dangerous criminal and Islamists surround the church building, furious at the boy’s insult.

Meanwhile, the charismatic, white-maned Don of Doubt, Augustus Dymock, and his secular campaign, the Thought Foundation, are pressuring the Church to sell hundreds of its under-used places of worship.

As the stories twist and flow together, Ross finds himself caught up in a world of bribes, violence and political spin and, at high personal cost, he must confront his demons. The Speaker’s Wife mixes Westminster intrigue with searching depictions of an England which has neglected its beliefs. Laugh-aloud satire is mixed with moving passages about the human condition and even a fairytale love story.

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Reviews

Rollicking debut novel ... a love song written to the grand old Church of England ... What gives the novel its gusto is the sheer delight it finds in its own stereotypes
Chris Bryant, The Guardian
Witty, outspoken, fierce and extremely knowledgeable about politicians
Country Life
Fascinating ... highly entertaining and clever novel ... a narrative of modern manners worthy of Anthony Trollope ... compulsive reading ... The language is inspired ... beautifully descriptive ... a rollicking good story ... one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year
Mature Times