Lines and Shadows
Out Now!

1960. The height of the Cold War. Maths prodigy Ginny Matlock is appointed to be the first woman computer at a secretive nuclear testing facility off the East Anglian coast. She quickly finds, in this landscape of endless skies and shifting shorelines, that nothing is what it seems.

‘A finely drawn confluence of watery Suffolk legend and the concrete realities of the Cold War era. With her trademark elegant, teasing prose and some lumiously visionary writing, it is a satisfyingly slow-burn delight, in the tradition of Susan Hill and M. R. James.’
Kate Worsley, author of She Rises (Winner of the HWA Debut Crown for Historical Fiction) and Foxash

‘A gripping, unsettling novel, where nothing is quite what it seems. Bower’s Suffolk is a wild and unforgiving place at the very edge of the Cold War, where everything might be swept away in a moment.’
Guinevere Glasfurd, Costa shortlisted author

Lines and Shadows is a rich beauty of a novella – part love story, part thriller, with an undertow of the uncanny.’
Heather Richardson, author of A Dress for Kathleen

‘A compelling, unsettling tale which employs the conventions of the spy thriller to draw the reader into a liminal zone where, in the shifting boundaries between sea and sky, past and present, seen and unseen, calculable and imaged, are destabilised and our assumptions about both genre and gender are challenged.’ Elizabeth Lewis Williams, author of Deception Island and Erebus

The Needle in the Blood

A tale of sex, lies and embroidery inspired by the mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry. Who had it made, and why? Who made it, how and where did they work? Why are its margins full of mythological beasts and rampant naked men, and who were Aelfgytha and her unnamed cleric? After nearly a thousand years the Tapestry is still keeping its secrets but The Needle in the Blood weaves its way among them to tell a story of love and betrayal in the turbulence of Norman occupied England.

The Needle in the Blood

‘Sarah Bower has created a rich, absorbing and intelligent, evocative eleventh century world and placed within it a love story and a famous tapestry. Not to be missed. A simply gorgeous read.’ – Carol McGrath, best-selling author of the Daughters of Hastings trilogy

‘First, before I write anything else, I want to tell you just how good this book is. I don’t want to be coy about it; I don’t want to prevaricate. I just want to say, honestly: measured on a scale of books that are good and books that are ok and books that suck, this book is mind-bogglingly good.’ Eve’s Alexandria

‘…a terrific novel that bowls along at a perfect pace.’ Nina Bawden

About Sarah

I’m a writer of novels, short fiction and creative non-fiction with a Creative Writing MA from the
University of East Anglia. I was shortlisted for the Curtis Brown Scholarship in 2001.

My first novel, The Needle in the Blood, won the Susan Hill Award in 2007 and was shortlisted for a Romantic Times award. It was excerpted for an edition of Radio 3’s The Verb which featured the UEA Creative Writing MA. My second novel, The Book of Love (published in the US as Sins of the House of Borgia) has been translated into nine languages and was a Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller. A third novel, Erosion, was published in 2014.

My novella, Lines and Shadows, will be published by Story Machine in August 2023.

I have contributed to anthologies and been published in Asian Cha, The Lighthouse Literary Journal, QWF Magazine, MsLexia, Spiked, Solander, The Yellow Room, Unthology and Writing in Education, and have been commissioned to write short fiction for BBC Radio 4. My work has also been performed on Radio 3’s The Verb.

I contribute to the Historical Novels Review, the journal of the Historical Novel Society, which I edited for two years.

I began reading for a PhD in creative and critical writing at the Open University in 2020. The novel I am writing for my PhD is entitled Daughters of Heaven and looks at the contribution of women needleworkers to the hot air balloon craze of the 1780s and the manufacture of spacesuits for the
Apollo astronauts in the late 1960s.

I teach creative writing at third year undergraduate and masters level at the Open University and work as a mentor to fellow novelists through The Literary Consultancy’s Chapter and Verse programme. I also work as a freelance workshop leader, most recently for the National Centre for Writing and Anglia Ruskin University’s A Life Written project, facilitating memoir writing for the over seventies. For ten years I administered the Emerging Literary Translators’ Mentoring Scheme founded by Daniel Hahn in 2010.

I’m a member of the Society of Authors and National Association of Writers in Education.

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