Jane Healey’s exquisitely sultry novel The Ophelia Girls is published in hardback in the US today courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Since its UK release in July, The Ophelia Girls has received a wealth of love from readers and reviewers alike. Stellar reviews came in from Women’s Weekly Magazine and the Daily Mail who called the book ‘a potent blend of art, beauty, awakening desire and mortality’, while Waterstones recommended it as one of the Best Books for July. Meanwhile, Jane has also been busy celebrating the publication with a book launch and book signings at some of Edinburgh’s most quaint indie bookshops. And while the magic of The Ophelia Girls has started to rub off on readers, here are just a few examples of what fellow authors are saying about the book…
“THE OPHELIA GIRLS is a novel saturated with beauty, menace, longing, secrets– and with passions deep enough to drown in. It’s a sinister, suspenseful page-turner that gripped me tightly and still hasn’t fully let go.” Clare Beams, author of The Illness Lesson
“Sensual and lush, THE OPHELIA GIRLS captures the dangerous power of approaching the world with an artist’s eye, of seeing others and being truly seen in turn. Jane Healey’s prose holds the haunting beauty of pre-Raphaelite paintings, paired with a page-turning exploration of girlhood, secrets, desire, and art.” Sarah Flannery Murphy
“No one writes more beautifully than Jane Healey.” Natalie Jenner, internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society
So, if you are looking for a seductively summery read to while away the hours, why not pick up your copy of The Ophelia Girls? Here’s a reminder of what awaits…
In the summer of 1973, teenage Ruth and her four friends are obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings, and a little bit obsessed with each other. They spend the scorching summer days in the river by Ruth’s grand family home, pretending to be the drowning Ophelia and recreating tableaus of other tragic mythical heroines. But by the end of the summer, real tragedy has found them.
Twenty-four years later, Ruth is a wife and mother of three children, and moves her family into her still-grand, but now somewhat dilapidated, childhood home following the death of her father. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, Maeve, is officially in remission and having been discharged from hospital can finally start acting like a ‘normal’ teenager with the whole summer ahead of her. It’s just the five of them until Stuart, a handsome photographer and old friend of her parents, comes to stay. And there’s something about Stuart that makes Maeve feel more alive than all of her life-saving treatments put together . . .
As the heat of the summer burns, how long can the family go before long-held secrets threaten to burst their banks and drown them all?
Set between two fateful summers, The Ophelia Girls is a visceral, heady exploration of illicit desire, infatuation, and the perils and power of being a young woman.