Book of Colours
London, 1321: In a small stationer’s shop in Paternoster Row, three people are drawn together around the creation of a magnificent, illuminated prayer book. Even though the commission seems to answer the aspirations of each one of them, their secrets, desires and ambitions threaten its completion. As each struggles to see the book come into being, it will change everything they have understood about their place in the world.
Rich, deep, sensuous and full of life, Book of Colours is also, most movingly, a profoundly beautiful story about creativity and connection, and our instinctive need to understand our world and communicate with others through the pages of a book.
Robyn Cadwallader fashions words with the same delicate, colourful intensity that her 14th century illuminators brought to their illustrated manuscripts. Book of Colours brings alive a harsh but rich past, filled with the fantasies, fears, sly wit and tender longings of the medieval imagination.
Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus, Sacred Hearts and Blood and Beauty
In this extraordinary novel of illumination in medieval times, Cadwallader invites us into a world which seems distant, yet becomes recognisable. It is a place of pigment and power, of light and desire, of watching and being seen. A world where women live in the shadow of men, but still find their own ways of creating. Book of Colours shows the depth of possibility a book might hold – all the while shimmering with the beauty and fragility of an ancient gilded page.
Eleanor Limprecht, author of What Was Left and The Passengers