LONGLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN 2018
'Brilliantly paced, moving, thoughtful and sharp. Loved it.' Renee Knight, author of Disclaimer
'Bitter, yes, but also sweet - and moving, and searching, and quietly devastating: a novel to detonate the heart' A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
'Wonderful . . . It's a very painful story but told with a kind of lightness and grace. Francesca Jakobi completely inhabits Gilda, in all her pain and obsession, all her self-deception and self-sabotage. An absolutely astonishing first novel' Michael Frayn, author of Spies
'Bitter is stormingly good, deliciously addictive, as gripping as Zoe Heller's Notes on A Scandal. It's got to be the beach read of 2018!' Peter Bradshaw, Guardian Film Critic
'Gloriously sinister and yet heartbreaking. Brilliant' Nicci Cloke, author of Close Your Eyes
It's 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he'll never forgive her.
When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection. Her cold, distant son seems transformed by love - a love she's craved his entire adult life. What does his new wife have that she doesn't? And how far will she go to find out? It's an obsession that will bring shocking truths about the past to light . . .
Bitter is a beautiful and devastating novel about the decisions that define our lives, the fragility of love and the bond between mother and son.
Francesca studied psychology at the University of Sussex, followed by a stint teaching English in Turkey and the Czech Republic. On returning to her native London she got a job as a reporter on a local paper and has worked in journalism ever since. She's currently a layout editor at the FINANCIAL TIMES. BITTER is her first novel.