The Maiden
Kate Foster

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Published: 2023

Longlisted for the 2024 Women's Prize for Fiction

Edinburgh, October 1679. Christian Nimmo is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.

Only a year before, Lady Christian was leading a life of privilege and respectability. So what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn’t the only woman in Forrester’s life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead…

Inspired by a real-life case, The Maiden gives a voice to women otherwise silenced by history. Told through chapters narrated alternately by Christian and Violet, the prostitute Forrester kept as a mistress, it’s a remarkable story.

A confident historical thriller with deep-dive, hot-blooded characters who you are cheerleading on. Cinematic. Gripping. Tense; A total page-turner. Poetic and captivating. Foster is a painter and The Maiden is a work of art.

Laura Dockrill


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