Spirit Burns by Tina Jackson
“Darkly irreverent and deeply moving, Tina Jackson captures the lives and tough times of her characters with striking clarity. A gorgeously written novel.” - Nick Triplow
Madge didn’t mean to kill her best friend, but what happens when the only choices you get to make are bad ones?
Following the interwoven fates of three women and set in the North of England at the turn of the 20th century, Spirit Burns is a spell-binding tale that leads the reader behind the curtains of vaudeville theatre and into gin palaces, sweat-shops, séance cabinets, and the secret world of suffragette arsonists.
Meet Madge - factory hand, gang member, and good-time girl. Then there’s Ellen, who wants to burn the existing order to the ground, and Stella, sold into show-life as a young girl and forced to trade off her looks and her talent to survive.
We’re drawn into places where women are overlooked and their bodies exploited. Places where bad things happen. Places where people want revenge. Places where people – people like Madge, who only wanted to have a laugh – are haunted by what they did, and what was done to them.
Roll up! Roll up! Enter a world where the boundaries between the living and the dead are blurred, and the ones who get caught in between get to tell their stories.
Praise for Tina Jackson
"This gloriously offbeat tale has shades of Angela Carter, with its beguiling characters weaving a magical spell." - Kitty Marlow, The Mail On Sunday
"The vivid setting and beauty of Jackson’s prose is only part of the enchantment. The author has also woven an intricate and compelling plot in which revelations come as rapidly as disappearing ace cards and rabbits from the maestro’s hat. Every fresh reveal tells us something new and unexpected about each character, so the multiple layers of connections and secrets between them all are gradually – and satisfyingly – revealed. The only disappointing thing about this whole dazzling illusion is when it finally has to come to an end. This was a world I never wanted to come out of!" - Cathi Unsworth, Crimesquad
"There is some really atmospheric storytelling and joyful language at play here, with Jackson as an entertaining mistress of ceremonies." - Ben East, The Observer