The Swan's Nest

Product Details
$29.00  $26.97
Algonquin Books
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.16 X 1.1 inches | 1.03 pounds

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About the Author
Laura McNeal is the author of three other novels, including Dark Water, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature. With her husband, Tom McNeal, she has collaborated on four novels, a picture book, two sons, and the restoration of a historic house. They live near San Diego.
"What a lovely, lyrical novel this is! Tender in its sympathies, meticulous in its research, and mercifully attentive to the fraught conditions of love, loneliness, and loss, it seems like an antidote to so much contemporary fiction. The restorative romance and marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning is familiar to many readers of British poetry, but Laura McNeal has made it feel so new and fresh and nourishing, like a sea breeze from the West Indies cleansing away the soot and smoke of 19th century London."

--Ron Hansen, author of The Kid

"Let me count the ways I love The Swan's Nest: as a transporting romance, as a meticulous recreation of history, as a compelling examination of social hierarchies, and as an expose of the evil that can lurk behind fortunes. It's a bold feat to enter the minds of geniuses, but Barrett and Browning, as well as the wonderful cast of supporting characters, are as believable as they are beautifully written. Laura McNeal has constructed a gorgeous, faithful, and gripping rendering of poetry's most enduring love story."

--Nina de Gramont, author of international bestseller The Christie Affair
"Laura McNeal is one of my favorite writers and The Swan's Nest is a stunning accomplishment. Assiduously researched, gorgeously brought to life, this literary love story will keep you up all night."
--Lily King, author of Five Tuesdays in Winter
"Compelling, convincing and richly woven, The Swan's Nest conjures the lives of two legendary poets with true drama and nuance. In McNeal's talented hands, we are intimately drawn into the age the Barrett-Browning's lived and loved in, with all of its cultural complexity; into the thorniness of well-meaning but destructive families, and into the fascinating and evocative entanglement of two peerless minds. Gorgeous and provocative storytelling. "
--Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
"McNeal capably evokes her protagonists' poetic sensibilities both with dialogue... and with her own lyrical descriptions... This insightful novel is a must for devotees of the romantics."--Publishers Weekly
"This delicately rendered novel offers much that will appeal to fans of the Victorian poets."--Booklist
"A moving, well-written novel and a fitting tribute to the power of love and poetry."​--Historical Novel Review
"[THE SWAN'S NEST] doesn't shy from social injustices and exploitative aspects of the British Empire, exploring colonial privilege alongside a realistic portrait of the legendary couple."​--Zoomer
"Written with elegant prose, The Swan's Nest by Laura McNeal explores the relationship between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett and the risks they made for love while also exploring important social issues and the source of the Barrett family's wealth."--History Through Fiction
"Sinking into The Swan's Nest is like being cocooned in a down comforter. Laura McNeal's deeply researched historical novel is an ode to the great love between two 19th-century English Romantic poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning... McNeal's achievement is to dramatize how Elizabeth's great escape from a severely limited life came to pass. In suitably lyrical language, The Swan's Nest thrillingly captures a marriage of true minds and the triumph of hope, love-and poetry."--Heller McAlpin, Christian Science Monitor
"An irresistible page-turner and an exquisite tribute to true love."--Toronto Star