'An enchanting book that provides a vivid sense of life at a time when our forebears co-existed closely with hunger, dreams, lice, angels, contagion, foul odours, mermaids and miracles' - Barbara Trapido, Express
To escape from her own sadness, a woman finds refuge in a past time. In a village by the sea she watches the lives of the inhabitants unfold around her. But the year is now 1410 and this is a world of devils and miracles, a world in which there are no clear boundaries between reality and the power of the imagination.
A man's discovery of a mermaid washed up on the sand starts a chain of events that leads three of the villagers to accompany the enigmatic figure of the leper on a pilgrimmage to the Holy Land. The woman joins them and sets out without the certainty of ever coming home again.
The Leper's Companions was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
“As beautifully written and as profoundly researched as all Julia Blackburn's work”
“A remarkable evocation of another time and another frame of reference”
“Julia Blackburn has an extraordinary talent for thinking herlsef into other worlds... Reading her book, you experience the uncanny sensation that you have somehow always known these places”
“She wears her talents like a modern Renaissance woman with elegance and affable ease”