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From the author of the Orange New Writers shortlisted ‘The Book of Fires’, an extraordinary tale of love and science. When Henry Lyte brings his young bride Frances home to his Somerset estate, he hopes she will share in his devotion to the garden – a refuge of fruit trees and flower beds, with a knot of herbs at its heart. Henry is a scholar, and his life’s work is his ‘herbal’ – a book of plants and their medicinal properties, intended for those who cannot afford physicians’ expensive cures. But life on the edges of the flood plains makes Frances uneasy, and there are strange rumours abroad concerning the death of Henry’s first wife – rumours that can be traced to Henry’s step-mother Joan Young, a grasping woman eager to seize control of the family’s lands. And while Henry cannot tear himself from his studies, he stands the risk of losing everything he loves.