LAURA BEATTY's debut novel "Pollard, " was published to critical acclaim: "A fierce and wonderful book" ("Observer"), "Enchanting... Beatty is a writer of extraordinary power" ("Literary Review"), "heralds an exceptional talent" ("Guardian") and was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. With it, she won the Authors' Club First Novel Award in 2009.

Two women, in two different centuries, both under siege: the brilliant second novel from the acclaimed author of "Pollard." 'Pull yourself together, girl...'.' Mia Morgan, in the middle of her life, is a woman under siege. By the difficult relationship with her blind and aging father; memories of her late lover, John, thirty years her senior; and a dark family secret that still threatens to surface. She is also accused of living in the past. Alone in the London flat she once shared with John, her days are spent researching the life of a dead woman. This woman is Lady Brilliana Harley, who during the English Civil War, in the absence of her husband and sons, defended her home Brampton Bryan Castle during a prolonged siege by Royalist troops. Who was this woman of strength and mettle? As Mia delves into the letters and private prayers of Brilliana''s life, she seeks to understand a person and a time that, despite being centuries old, holds a mirror to her own age and reflects herself back at her. "Darkling" is a bold and revolutionary undertaking: brilliantly weaving original seventeenth-century documents into a modern storyline. Laura Beatty beautifully captures a strong sense of place and Englishness, and shows how the boundary line between the past and present can often be unbearably thin.


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