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Early One Morning is out now in paperback – here’s why you should read it

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Early One Morning

Early One Morning was one of the most talked about books published by Virago last year, loved by readers and critics alike. To celebrate publication of the paperback, and its selection as a Waterstones Book Club Pick for Spring, here’s a round-up of some of the best reviews so far, in case you still need persuading why this book is so special . . .

‘Early One Morning isn’t just an incandescent novel, but the rarest of reading experiences, offering a view both wrenching and luminous of how love pushes us past what we’re capable of, and somehow – impossibly – reclaims us when we’re long past saving. Utterly magnificent’ Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun

 

‘Early One Morning heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice in fiction, with a story that is instantly engaging, and characters that effortlessly lift from the page and are rendered so rich and full that they wrap themselves around you and refuse to let go. Beautifully written and emotionally taut, Virginia Baily’s Early One Morning is a powerhouse of a novel’ Jason Hewitt, author of The Dynamite Room

 

‘Wonderful . . . I was completely inside it from the first pages, just that delicious (rare) feeling of knowing you’re in safe hands, this writer isn’t going to make a mess of anything, or forfeit your trust or your belief. It managed to be so witty and dry and true . . . Vividly intelligent, gripping and moving and alive’ Tessa Hadley

 

‘A real treat: a beautifully written account of the long consequences of war, set in a richly evoked Roman of the 1970s’ Philip Hensher, Observer

 

‘A moving assertion of the power of maternal love to overcome unimaginable obstacles’ Sunday Times

 

‘Heartbreaking . . . a powerful story of sacrifice, despair and ultimately redemption’ Sunday Express

 

‘Incredibly sure-footed, a big, generous and absorbing piece of storytelling, fearless, witty and full of flair . . . It’s a surprisingly humorous novel, in which the characters are tenderly mocked or mock themselves. It’s also defiant. Even as it forces its characters to lose so much, it asserts itself against those losses with vehemence and hope’ Samantha Harvey, Guardian

 

‘A powerfully moving novel about the long shadows cast by the terrible separations of the Second World War’ Cathy Rentzenbrink, Bookseller

 

‘Virginia Baily’s wonderfully-imagined novel . . . The war years – the journey from Roman and the months spent at the grandmother’s – are exceptionally well done . . . Anyone familiar with Rome will delight in following Chiara’s movements about the city. She is a true Roman, infuriating and delightful . . . Virginia Baily is a natural novelist [who] cherishes the details of daily life and this gives the novel so much of its vitality, but it is her ability to evoke tangled emotions and present them convincingly that makes her book remarkable’ Allan Massie, Scotsman

 

‘An enchanting storyteller’ Observer

 

‘A powerfully moving tale of war’s reverberations‘ Prima

 

‘Baily subtly tugs at your heartstrings and by the end of her novel you’re likely to be as desperate as the women in Daniele’s life to discover his fate’ Daily Express

 

‘Early One Morning is a story to be savoured. Filled with characters who are far from perfect people, who complement and contrast so well, it really is incredibly well written, the pages fly by so quickly, the story totally consumed me. I was left with lots of questions about identity, about upbringing and parental influence, and how our lives are shaped by those around us’ Anne Cater, Random Things Through My Letterbox

 

‘Early One Morning is a sweeping story, played out in two continents and two different times, each charged with equal emotion. It isn’t a book that breaks your heart. It’s a book that chips away at your heart with a tiny hammer until you’re left a shattered mess, and only Baily can piece it back together again’ Girl!Reporter

 

‘A wonderfully evocative historical novel that made me desperate to revisit Rome . . . compelling and haunting’ A Case for Books

 

‘A triumph . . . an exquisitely rendered novel that explores how one powerful and unexpected love can shape a life for ever . . . By turns witty, poignant, tragic and uplifting, this feast of a novel will mark out its author as a powerful voice on the literary scene’ Vivid magazine

 

Need more convincing? Read the first chapter here.

Early One Morning is published in paperback by Fleet – a new imprint of Little, Brown. Follow the Fleet: @fleetreads

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