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TO DARE by Jemma Wayne


Veronica and her wealthy husband George are unpacking boxes, hoping a fresh start in their newly refurbished Victorian terrace will help them heal from a recent trauma.

Next door, Simone returns to her neglected council flat. Miserable and trapped, she struggles to take care of her children under the watch of her controlling husband Terry.

When childhood friend Sarah re-enters Veronica’s life, things are thrown even further off balance. As tensions in their own lives rise, the painful memory that binds them threatens to spill into their present.

Three lives collide in this story of family, inequality and revenge.

‘Jemma owes me a night’s sleep! What a transfixing book. The tension spirals out of control and you have no idea how it will end…’  Hilary Boyd, author of Thursdays in the Park and The Lie

‘Wayne weaves a book that is at once engrossing and an exploration of what it means to be a woman, a moral person, a parent, and a neighbour.’ Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days, and Harmless Like You

'Tense, dark and so real as to be almost unbearable, this novel is utterly compelling.' Rosamund Lupton, international bestselling author of Sister and Three Hours

‘A five-star novel by one of our best writers. I was gripped.’ Louis de Bernières, author of the international bestseller Captain Corelli's Mandolin

‘To Dare is not only a skilful and intimate dissection of the power struggles that exist between female friends in any era, but also a daring exploration of our class divides… a rare example of fiction that is equally literary and commercial.’ Ophelia Field, author of The Favourite

'To Dare is a vivid, poignant, and compelling read; Jemma Wayne skilfully weaves her narrative threads tighter and tighter as the story moves towards its nerve-jangling conclusion. I loved it - I couldn't put it down!' Saskia Sarginson, author of the Richard & Judy bestselling novel The Twins

'Wayne writes beautifully with scarcely a word wasted… The final suspenseful chapters had my heart pounding as Wayne's expertly drip-fed plot begins to congeal like spilt blood. I still can't shake the image of the shocking conclusion from my mind.' A.S. Hatch

Praise for After Before:

Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015

Shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award

'Rich, haunted, gripping, painful and beautifully entwined' Ruth Padel

'A powerful novel. Its characters will haunt you long after their stories have been told.' Naomi Gryn

'A fearless and meticulously observed examination of pain transformed by the redeeming power of friendship' Vanora Bennett

'Cosy domestic scenes in suburban London, brilliantly described, are used to contrast with experiences of absolute horror at the heart of a deep and shaming secret. For life to move on, all must be forgiven, no matter how difficult this may be.' Phillip Knightley

'Jemma Wayne has very skilfully managed to weave together not only the alternating strands of her compelling narrative but also passages of intense action with reflective inner monologue. A highly accomplished debut!' Gerald Jacobs, The Jewish Chronicle

To Dare_High Res cover.jpg

ISBN (Paperback): 9781789559835
ISBN (Ebook): 9781789559828
Price: £8.99 (Paperback) £4.99 (Ebook)
Extent: 272 pages
Format: 198x129mm
Markets: World English
Translation rights: No

Jemma Wayne.jpeg

Jemma Wayne is the author of two previous novels: After Before and Chains of Sand. She has been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for both The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize and the Waverton Good Read Award.

Jemma’s journalism has appeared in The Spectator, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday, Red Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jewish News, among others.

Born to an American musician father and English mother, Jemma grew up in Hertfordshire and lives in North London.


Twitter: @writejemmawayne

Books by the author:

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