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book cover of The Words in My Hand

The Words in My Hand

(2016)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Costa Book Awards Best First Novel (nominee)
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016.

The Words in my Hand is the reimagined true story of Helena, a 17th-century Dutch maid desperate to educate herself and use her mind in an era when women were kept firmly in their place.

Helena works in the Amsterdam lodging house of an English bookseller who rents out a room to the mysterious 'Monsieur', who turns out to be Rene Descartes. Always trying to keep one step ahead of the authorities desperate to suppress his free thinking, Descartes and Helena form an unlikely bond which turns from teaching into an affair.

For all his learning, it's Helena who provides him with insights and emotional perspective from the everyday life all around him. For this is Helena's story, a woman who yearned for knowledge, who wanted to write so badly - and who could afford nothing - she made her own ink from beetroot and used her body for paper.

Weaving together the story of Descartes' quest for reason with Helena's struggle for literacy, the novel follows Helena's journey across the Dutch Republic as she tries to keep their young daughter secret. Through Helena's story, everyday objects are transformed into new ways of learning. Their worlds overlap yet remain sharply divided; the only way of being together is living unseen. Helena and Descartes face a terrible tragedy and ultimately have to decide if their love is possible at all.

    

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Used availability for Guinevere Glasfurd's The Words in My Hand

Hardback Editions

January 2016 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Words In My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
ISBN: 1-4736-1785-5 / 978-1-4736-1785-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

February 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Words In My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
ISBN: 1-4736-1787-1 / 978-1-4736-1787-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2016 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: The Words In My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
ISBN: 1-4736-1786-3 / 978-1-4736-1786-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

January 2016 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Words in My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon   


January 2016 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Words in My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

January 2016 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Words In My Hand: Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2016
Author(s): Guinevere Glasfurd
Publisher: Two Roads
Availability: Amazon UK