Weidenfeld 2008

In The Eyrie Stevie has created an unforgettable character in the figure of ‘Red Dora’, the 92-year-old Socialist veteran of the Spanish Civil War. Set in Oystermouth, the novel, which asks profound questions about the modern world, is alive with humour, pathos and beauty.

The new novel is the first part of her two-book contract with Weidenfeld: Stevie has lately returned from Egypt, where she was researching the second book, the epic novel, Into Suez, set in the 1950s in the run-up to the Suez invasion - published by Weidenfeld in March 2010.

AL Kennedy 3rd February 2007 The Guardian:
"Davies just writes, very precisely, sometimes wonderfully - sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction - and always from the heart. She does what a writer does - making beauty for strangers, passing it on."
Read AL Kennedy's review of The Eyrie

Murrough O’Brien in the Independent on Sunday:
‘It is deeply joyful, and magically written, as full of sea swell as of rasping barnacles.’

Nicolette Jones in the Independent:
'Davies has a tantalising way of writing glancingly about the important developments, leaving the reader eager to know what happened. Meanwhile inconsequentialities, lightly handled in conversational prose and varied voices, accrete like mineral deposits, until they make something substantial and solid. Enjoy at leisure.'

Saga Magazine:
'Davies deals sensitively but unsentimentally with lives less ordinary than they seem, writing with warmth and wit, with and against the currents of modern living.'

The Sunday Times 25 February 2007:
‘Deftly mapping the [characters’] interactions, and the unwelcome infractions of the outside world, Davies’s novel exhibits an agile wit, an intuitive understanding of human nature, and an unsentimental clarity in its personalising of the political.’

Daily Telegraph 24 February 2007:
'...acute and compassionate observations.'

The Guardian 1 March 2008:
'That this is one of the fiercest books I have read in years. It is about love, about politics, about the consolations that only strangers can offer and is made all the more striking in that it centres on a nonagenarian, Dora, in the final years of her life. Vain, hawk-like Dora, a former communist and veteran of the International Brigades, has no intention of going gently into that good night. She takes lessons in computer hacking and exerts a benign despotism over the other inhabitants of the Eyrie, a converted mansion on the Swansea coast that is refuge to an almost uniformly charming collection of lost souls. Cosy Welsh Eirlys, always ready to mop up tears and ply her neighbours with a slice of bara brith, is not nearly as comfortable as she seems, while young Hannah, an engineer in search of her father, finds herself instead becoming Dora's surrogate child, an act of replacement that helps Dora to finally accept the death of her own wild daughter, lost decades before. Davies is a meticulous, generous writer and her portrait of a life on the brink of ending is so full of contrary, thrilling vitality that you can practically taste the sap.'

The Observer 16 March 2008:
'Quiet and intense, this is a story bereft of flash, but none the poorer for it. Delicate, beautifully written, firmly imbued with an unusually genuine grasp of time and place and character, only the most hard-hearted reader will close The Eyrie without a satisfyingly teary sigh.'
Jean Hannah Edelstein


An essay dedicated to the memory of Frank Regan


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