Enemy Women

Paulette Jiles

‘Cold Mountain’ meets ‘Charlotte Grey’ when a young woman, denounced as a spy, escapes from a Civil War prison to find her way home.

Missouri, 1865. Adair Colley and her family have managed to hide from the bloody Armageddon of the American Civil War, but finally even their remote mountain farm cannot escape the plundering greed of the Union militia. Her house is burnt, her father beaten and dragged away. With fierce determination, Adair sets out after him on foot. So begins an extraordinary voyage which will see Adair herself denounced as a Confederate spy and thrown in jail. Here she falls passionately in love with her Union interrogator, who helps her escape. Braving uncounted dangers with wit, ingenuity, and an outrageous courage, she struggles to return home, to reunite her family, and – against all odds – to find her love again, this time as a free woman.

Ecstatic reviewers have compared this muscular, vivid novel to ‘Cold Mountain’, unanimously calling this the better read. With cinematic sweep and a galloping pace, ‘Enemy Women’ introduces readers to the most memorable heroine of many years. You will lose your heart to Adair Colley, and to this magnificent book.

Reviews of Enemy Women

    • A Sunday Times Read of the Week and Glamour’s ‘Must Read’
    • ‘I loved “Enemy Women”. It is a gritty, memorable book, full of the things I like best in a novel – a sparky heroine, an unsentimental love story, a confident retelling of the past. It is a delight from start to finish, without a single misstep.’ Tracy Chevalier
    • ‘With the eye of a poet and the rectitude of a historian, Paulette Jiles travels the backroads of the American Civil War and returns with a story that is both gripping and gorgeously rendered. Adair is destined to find a place of honour among the great heroines of modern fiction’. Geraldine Brooks, author of ‘Year of Wonders’.
    • ‘Remarkable…entirely deserving of the plaudits it will doubtless continue to receive here. Jiles isn’t content with merely telling us something we know already, but sets out to show us what this means, in images of startling beauty and horror.’ The Times
    • ‘Although “Enemy Women” is rich in historical research, it is partly Adair’s unexpected modernity that makes it so compelling, as she battles her way through war with sharp rejoinders and a waspish wit, by turns fierce, wily and pragmatic … Jiles’s epically plotted novel moves to a beat as irresistibly vernacular as its heroine’s ‘confession’.’ Observer

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