An Unknown Woman

Genre: General Fiction

For Fans Of

Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Atkinson and Ali Smith

Book Summary

Fire destroyed her present. Secrets destroyed her past.

Writing Magazine's Self-Published Book of the Year 2016

Look in the mirror and ask yourself a question. Who are you? Do you know the answer?

At the age of forty-six, Anita Hall knows exactly who she is. She has lived with partner Ed for fifteen years and is proud of the life they’ve built. They go out into the world separately: Ed with one eye on the future in the world of finance; Anita with one foot in the past, a curator at Hampton Court Palace. This is the life she has chosen - a dream job, equal partnership, living in a quirky old house she adores. She is happy. Their foundations are solid and their future seems secure. But that was before the fire.

Anita stands in the middle of the road watching her home and everything inside it burn to the ground. She and Ed have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Fifteen years of memories gone up in smoke.

Before she can come to terms with the magnitude of her loss, hairline cracks begin to appear in her perfect relationship. And returning to her childhood home in search of comfort, she stumbles upon the secret her mother has kept hidden, a taboo so unspeakable it can only be written down.

The reflection in the mirror may look the same. But everything has changed. Anita thought she knew who she was. But not any more. And when your life goes up in smoke, you can never go home.

Authentic and heartbreaking, this intensely human story by award-winner Jane Davis is perfect for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Atkinson and Ali Smith.


Writing Magazine's Self Published Book of the Year 2016

‘A firestorm of a novel. Davis reminds us that families often have secrets at their heart: ticking time bombs just waiting for a stray spark.’ – Paul Murphy

‘Few writers are so adept at capturing their characters’ emotions. Recommended without reservation.’ – Book Viral (Shortlisted for Book Viral's Book of the Year Award)

'Jane Davis isn’t just good; she's phenomenally good. Gutsy, powerful and honest in the best tradition of fiction, this is a book worth savoring.' – Debra Hewitt

‘A thought-provoking story that examines loss, identity and secrets, An Unknown Woman will have you turning the pages right to the end.’ – Bookmuse

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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