Emily France is a graduate of Brown University and is the critically acclaimed author of several books.
Her adult debut, Daughter Dalloway, released March 14. A deeply evocative coming-of-age story, Daughter Dalloway is a retelling of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, following two rebellious young women through interwar London, whose paths are inextricably entwined as they search for the truth about the people they love.
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A deeply evocative coming-of-age story, Daughter Dalloway is a retelling of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, following two rebellious young women through interwar London, whose paths are inextricably entwined as they search for the truth about the people they love.
London, 1952: Forty-six-year-old Elizabeth Dalloway feels she has failed at most everything in life, especially living up to her mother, the elegant Mrs. Dalloway, an ideal socialite and model of perfection until she disappeared in the summer of 1923—and hasn’t been heard from since.
When Elizabeth is handed a medal with a mysterious inscription from her mother to a soldier named Septimus Warren Smith, she’s certain it contains a clue from the past. As she sets out, determined to deliver the medal to its rightful owner, Elizabeth begins to piece together memories of that fateful summer.
London, 1923: At seventeen, Elizabeth carouses with the Prince of Wales and sons of American iron barons and decides to join the Bright Young People—a group of bohemians whose antics often land in the tabloids. She is a girl who rebels against the staid social rules of the time, a girl determined to do it all differently than her mother. A girl who doesn’t yet feel like a failure.
That summer, Octavia Smith braves the journey from the countryside to London, determined to track down her older brother Septimus who returned from the war but never came home. She falls in with a group of clever city boys who have learned to survive on the streets. When one starts to steal her heart, she must discover whether he is a friend or foe—and whether she can make it in the city on her own.
Elizabeth and Octavia are destined to cross paths, and when they do, the truths they unearth will shatter their understanding of the people they love most.
A POPSUGAR Pick of Best New Historical Fiction of 2023
A Barnes and Noble Favorite Indie Pick
A Fresh Fiction Pick of the Week's Not-to-Miss Books
"Compelling, imaginative . . . Elizabeth uncovers more than her legendary mother's fate--she uncovers her own."
--Marie Benedict, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
"Woolf would appreciate France's novel because it, like Mrs. Dalloway, explores the same existential question: how should we live our life? [France] leavens her novel with a mystery that the reader will find satisfying."
--Historical Novels Review
"Like Mrs. Dalloway's English garden, Daughter Dalloway blooms with joy and melancholy; personal histories flower in the shadows of wars, secrets, scandals, and loves. A rich continuation of Virginia Woolf's immortal intentions, and a tender evocation of the female battle for self."
--Juliet Grames, winner of the 2022 Ellery Queen Award and author of The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna
“An immersive, beautifully written debut inspired by a Virginia Woolf classic. The story is told around Elizabeth and Octavia, both trying to solve a mystery of their own, and fated to find one another along the way. I felt deeply connected with both women and longed for the very satisfying ending. France braves important issues with such finesse, keeps the reader engrossed between the time periods, and most importantly, leaves readers with the most valuable lesson of all―you are enough.”
--Erin Bledsoe, author of The Forty Elephants