An Unchoreographed Life

Genre: General Fiction

For Fans Of

Margaret Forster, Penelope Lively, Maggie O'Farrell, Rachel Joyce and Ali Smith.

Book Summary

You can’t have it all. So what must you choose to lose? And will it be worth the sacrifice?

Six-year-old Belinda Brabbage has amassed a wealth of wisdom. She knows all the best hiding places, how to zap monsters with her pig-shaped torch and why never to accept lifts from strangers – even ones who offer Fizzy Fish. But Belinda’s mummy isn’t like the other mothers who gather at the school gates. She’s… different somehow. Mummy doesn’t like to be plagued with questions. But when she isn’t concentrating, she drops nuggets of information. Belinda collects them all, sure a pattern will emerge. It’s only a matter of time.

Time is Alison’s enemy. This hand to mouth existence of hers was only supposed to be temporary. But there’s one clock she can’t re-set. Belinda is growing up. Soon she’ll recognise the ballerina in the photograph album. She’ll understand who her mother was, who she could have been - and what she does to pay their rent. With options running out, Alison consults a blind clairvoyant, whose visions of pelicans and bookshelves appear to herald change. Then a chance meeting with an affluent couple affords a glimpse of the life Alison so desperately wants for her daughter. But can she trust their offer of friendship?

Writing with compelling honesty, Davis is clearly a writer at the pinnacle of her craft. This unflinching novel of a desperate single mother haunted by thwarted dreams is populated with beautifully flawed characters, beneath whose tumultuous lives lie deeply buried secrets.

Perfect for fans of Maggie O'Farrell, Rachel Joyce and Ali Smith.


“Don’t let this brilliant book pass you by!” Amazon reviewer.

"An extraordinary level of emotion brought on by some superb storytelling." The Cult Den.

“I never doubted that things happened exactly as described, right to the very last word.” Jean Gill

‘As I approached the end, I was enjoying the story so much I couldn’t decide what I wanted most: to quickly find out what happened to the characters or for the book not to finish at all. In the end, the author left me with hope––hope for a decent future in such a chaotic life that any of us could fall into, given the right circumstances.’ ~ Liza Perratt, Author

‘I think this is her best work to date and recommend you start on this one.’ ~ Peter Snell, Bookseller

‘What I love about Jane Davis’s writing is the way it effortlessly flows from one line to the next. She really knows how to make her prose sing. It’s practically poetry.’ ~ Jessica Bell, Author, Cover Designer, Artist, Musician

‘The whole novel had a compelling honesty; I never doubted that things happened exactly as described, right to the very last word. I have discovered a new favourite author.’ ~ Jean Gill, Author and Photographer

‘Davis also has an incredible knack for making everything count. Each moment in every chapter had meaning, was meant to be there, and was strong even if I didn't know it at the time.’ Aimee McCracken

‘Davis is a writer at the pinnacle of her craft. If I were an agent, a publisher or a professional reviewer, I’d probably say that she penetrates to the heart of the human condition. As I’m not, I’ll just say this is a damn good read and, dare I add, important.’ ~ Linda Carol

‘Beautifully written, engaging & heart-breaking. I loved every minute of it.’ ~ S M Spencer

About the Author

My debut, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as 'A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.' Six further novels, which straddle the contemporary, historical, literary and women’s fiction genres, have earned comparisons to authors such as Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell. My 2016 novel An Unknown Woman won Writing Magazine's Self-published Book of the Year Award. My favourite description of fiction is ‘made-up truth’.

I live in Carshalton, Surrey with my Formula 1 obsessed, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. When I am not writing, you may spot me disappearing up the side of a mountain with a camera in hand.

To learn more about my current projects, visit my website: Subscribe to to get your free copy of I Stopped Time.

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