Friday Reads: Waiting for The Joyce Girl

On 16 June 2016, Annabel Abbs’s award-winning début novel, The Joyce Girl, will hit the shelves. If you’re dying to get your hands on a copy, the team at Impress HQ have put together a list of books that will get you into the late 1920s mood.

 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Set in Chicago in 1920, this novel tells the story of Hadley Richardson at the time of her marriage to Ernest Hemingway. Their move to Paris prompts a new style of living that dramatically affects the lives of Richardson and Hemingway – and not always for the better.

Paris Wife

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Following in the vein of The Paris Wife, this novel is set in 1926 and starts with the relationship between Mr and Mrs Hemingway and the third party in their marriage – Fife.  In a similar vein to The Hours, the novel follows the four women who became embroiled with Hemingway and how far they will go to remain the wife of the passionate Hemingway.

mrs hemingway

The Ballroom by Anna Hope

Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.


Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Fowler brings us the story of Zelda Sayre before and after she married F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel spans consistent, throwing us helter-skelter into the whirlwind life of the Fitzgeralds. We even see something of Hemingway along the way…


A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

For all our UK readers, this is only available in Audio form while the print edition is available in Australia. Following in the Fitzgerald theme, here we have the main character, Evelyn Lockhart, who captures the spirit of Manhattan in 1922 by fighting against the constraints of marriage to apply to medical school and act on Broadway. Her story captures the spirit of the age: sensation or suppression?


Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake by Carol Loeb Schloss

 Stepping closer to Lucia Joyce, the protagonist of The Joyce Girl, this is a biography that offers a different story of Lucia Joyce’s life beyond the mad daughter of the genius James Joyce. Schloss reconstructs the complexity of Lucia’s tragic life, leaving you wanting to hear more…

to dance in the wake

The Joyce Girl by Annabel Abbs


1928: Avant-garde Paris is buzzing with the latest ideas in art, music, literature and dance. Lucia, the talented and ambitious daughter of James Joyce, is making her name as a dancer, training with some of the world’s most gifted performers. When a young Samuel Beckett comes to work for her father, she s captivated by his quiet intensity and falls passionately in love. Persuaded she has clairvoyant powers, Lucia believes her destiny is to marry Beckett. But when her beloved brother is enticed away, the hidden threads of the Joyces lives begin to unravel, destroying Lucia s dreams and foiling her attempts to escape the shadow of her genius father.

1934: Her life in tatters, Lucia is sent by her father to pioneering psychoanalyst Carl Jung. For years she has kept quiet. But now she decides to speak. Inspired by a true story, ‘The Joyce Girl’ is a compelling and moving account of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father.

The Joyce Girl will be published on 16 June and is available for preorder from Amazon and Waterstones now.


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