Golden Hill (Scribner, $26), winner of the Costa Award, is the first novel by Francis Spufford, author of I May Be Some Time and other acclaimed narrative nonfictions. The year is 1746. Mr. Smith, a young, charming, and mysterious stranger from England, arrives at Lovell’s house on New York’s Golden Hill with a bill of exchange for the breathtaking sum of 1,000 pounds. That alone, aside from Smith’s refusal to disclose anything about himself—where he’s come from and what he’s planning to do with that kind of money in the colonies—creates an aura of mystery and intrigue. As rumors begin to circulate, you’re pulled into the story, eager for answers, along with Manhattan’s social elite. Finding an ally and a friend in the marvelous Septimus Oakeshott, secretary to the governor, Mr. Smith inveigles his way into that elite, attending their dinner parties and becoming a part of their lives. He even develops an interest in one of Lovell’s daughters, the quick-witted and sharp-tongued Tabatha. But then things start to fall apart, and he finds himself in trouble. Quick paced, with extraordinary dialog and well-crafted characters, Spufford’s brilliant historical novel will make you turn the pages fast to find out what Mr. Smith is up to. The beauty of this novel is that you won’t find out until the very final pages.
Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York - Francis Spufford
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Published: Scribner - June 27th, 2017
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Published: Scribner - February 6th, 2018