Miss Dilys Barltrop is a devoted member of The Panacea Society, a cult populated almost entirely by virtuous single women.
When she strikes up a friendship with Grace – a new recruit – God finally seems to be smiling upon her. But Dilys is wary of her leader’s zealotry, and fearful of those who watch her every move, hoping for a sign of the deep and terrible failings she struggles to keep hidden. Faith is supplanted by doubt, and as both women come to question what is true and fear what is real, Dilys will have to learn the true cost of absolute devotion…
"An extremely accomplished debut. I was absolutely fascinated by all the details about The Panacea Society... the narrative voice of Dilys drives the plot beautifully and it is impossible not to feel her fear, joy and anguish. I found Claire's story gripping, unsettling and ultimately extremely moving. It is a tale beautifully and sensitively told that continues to haunt me."
- Ruth Hogan, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS
"A poignant novel." - Sunday Times, MUST READS
"Meticulously researched, this involving, moving and disturbing read throws light on a fascinating corner of history." - Daily Mail
"McGlasson enthralls in this powerful, page-turning novel in which a spiritual community is brought down to earth by secrecy and worldly power games, while the most transcendent moments are to be found in ambiguous, dreamlike passages of forbidden sensuality." - The Herald
"Intriguing [and] fascinating. impressive." - The Times
"An engaging debut... McGlasson convincingly captures the puritan, airless world, working well to blur the lines between the real and supernatural. there are overtones of The Handmaid's Tale, with a nice twist that the women are in charge for once."
- Irish Times
"Takes the unlikely but true history of a religious cult, awaiting the Second Coming in the suburbs of 1920s Bedford, and fashions from it a poignant tale of misplaced faith and an unexpected love affair." - Sunday Times, Books of the Year