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Longlisted for the Historical Writers' Association Debut Crown Award 2018

Eighteenth-century London – the lives of the sisters Fitzgerald, Constance and Verity, become entwined with the nearby Fowler household, charged with providing safe harbour to a mysterious baby.

   Camden, London, 2015, December 17th – and the lives of the sisters Fitzgerald, Constance and Verity, are consumed by the wait for this boy, who may or may not be dead. There is no way of knowing.

Deep within the savage beauty of Iceland, a hidden pool grants those who drink from it endless life. And for those who have sipped at the waterfall, they discover all too quickly that immortality is no gift, because in the absence of death, true darkness emerges.



An intriguing novel, with elements of Nordic myth, the Dickensian underworld and Victorian gothic.’
— Historical Novel Society
Spanning centuries, this is an exuberant, vividly imagined and structurally triumphant novel with a strong Dickensian undertow.
— The Daily Mail
The Parentations had me wrapped up in its story for days. It skilfully delves into fascinating pockets of history while building a story about the tense relationship between a group of characters who have gained a kind of immortality.
— Eric Karl Anderson, Reviewer and BookTuber at Lonesome Reader

‘A sumptuously gothic tale … this is a terrific debut from a very exciting new talent.’ 
— SFX Magazine
‘A blend of speculative fiction, historical fiction and fantasy, The Parentations is full of richly drawn characters – with Clovis Fowler an unlikeable but constantly readable presence at the heart of the plot’s events. There’s an engaging warmth to most of the characters that draws the reader in and helps them navigate the plot – keeping them intrigued and involved until a conclusion that, for me, came all too soon. One final thing to note is quality of Kate Mayfield’s prose – managing to be both engaging and driven but, in parts, moving and memorable – making for an excellent read and an author whose work I’ll be extremely keen to see more of in the future. ‘ 
A historical novel with immortality at its core. There’s a hidden pool in Iceland, which grants eternal life to those who drink from it. But when death is not the end, someone’s true nature will be revealed as is the case of the ruthless, seductive Clovis Fowler in this clever story that takes the reader from Victorian London to the modern day.
— RED Magazine Online
‘The Parentations has all the twists, turns, richness and atmosphere of a dark Dickensian epic but with a tale that casts its net over two centuries. It’s rare for a debut novel to have this much ambition and flair but what Kate Mayfield promises in The Parentations she delivers in spades.’
— Jason Hewitt - Author of The Dynamite Room and Devastation Road
‘This ambitious and richly imagined debut novel pulled me into its strange world, leaving me in awe of its rich and sensual prose, depth of thought and strength of characterization.  A literary novel with broad appeal, screen potential and the feel of a masterpiece.’
— Isabel Costello - Host of The Literary Sofa and author of Paris Mon Amour
‘Mayfield’s delightfully rich and uncanny novel, The Parentations, manages to be pacy and addictive, while simultaneously asking profound questions about life and death. Quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before.’
— Ben Fergusson - Author of The Spring of Kasper Meier and The Other Hoffman Sister
‘‘The Parentations is a story told on an epic scale, taking the reader from the wilds of 18th century Iceland to present day Camden Town, and which is as much about the nature of love as it is about the nature of evil. Kate Mayfield weaves her uncanny tale with rich historical detail, creating an atmospheric read which is vivid and compelling.’
— Sophia Tobin - Author of The Silversmith's Wife, The Widow's Confession, and The Vanishing
‘A strange and marvellous tale of death and long, long life from a startling imagination.  A joy to read.’
— Michael Ridpath - Author of the Fire and Ice crime series and Amnesia
‘The Parentations turns the epic on its head. It is a family drama splashed across the decades, with a changing and shifting London rendered in exquisite detail. The research is gripping and the ambition breathtaking, and the journey this story takes you on is quite unlike any other I’ve experienced.’
— Lloyd Shepherd - Author of The English Monster, Savage Magic, The Detective and the Devil and The Poisoned Island
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