Dark Victorian secrets mirror the pattern of betrayal and deception in the present.
Set in Edinburgh and Dundee, Fields of Blue Flax is the parallel story of, in the past, dark Victorian secrets uncovered and, in the present, how an innocent interest in genealogy brings a family to the brink of destruction. This is a remarkable and compelling debut novel by Sue Lawrence, renowned food writer, journalist and broadcaster, and former winner of BBC TV’s Masterchef.
Cousins Mags and Christine are complete opposites, one conventional the other bohemian. As family life with husbands and children intertwine, their joint research into the family history uncovers a forgotten relative, Elizabeth Barrie, born in the late nineteenth century in the north east village of Tannadice. Elizabeth’s origins aren’t what they appear to be, hiding a shocking scandal at the very heart of a prominent, ‘respectable’ family.
Unprepared for what they will find about their relative, the truth at the heart of Elizabeth’s story mirrors the cousins’ own equally dysfunctional family lives. Both Mags and Christine find out in different ways that uncovering a family’s past can have unexpected and irrevocable consequences for those living in the present.
Praise for Fields of Blue Flax
‘Researching your family tree has never been easier and the secrets that previous generations thought they had taken to the grave are now ripe for discovery by an internet savvy generation keen to uncover their past. Such family secrets and lies are the ingredients for food writer Sue Lawrence’s debut novel Fields of Blue Flax… As the protagonists chop, stir and simmer their way through breakfasts, lunches and dinners of family life, there is comfort food and cold comfort food, a killer broth and some to-die-for brownies, all served up in what is a satisfying tale of revenge served both hot and cold.’ Scotland on Sunday
‘Two compelling tales of betrayal and jealousy, and the dangers they can spawn. Even ordinary households have their secrets… Culinary delights add flavour and spice to both tales, tempting the reader on as the twin plots twist and turn. A good read.’ Sarah Maine, author of The House Between Tides
‘Former Masterchef winner Sue Lawrence has temporarily stepped out of the kitchen to cook up a storm with words for her debut novel.’ Press and Journal