The Gifts: A Novel
"Remarkable...for fans of fantasy-inflected historicals such as Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"A sumptuous reading experience." —BookPage
It will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are...
October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in the English countryside as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.
In London, rumors of a "fallen angel" cause a frenzy across the city, and a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .
The Gifts is an astonishing novel, a spellbinding tale told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.
Praise for The Gifts: A Novel
"Remarkable...Hyder skillfully juggles the many threads, never slowing the momentum of her propulsive plot, and by blending realistic and fantastic elements, she perfectly captures the era’s uneasy attempts to marry faith and science. This memorable outing has special appeal for fans of fantasy-inflected historicals such as Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"A remarkable tale of ambition, faith, and survival, a blend of historical fiction and fantasy from a deft storyteller…a sumptuous reading experience." — BookPage
"Readers who like the early-Victorian-era setting and feisty female characters will enjoy this book." — Booklist
"A fascinating mélange of gothic fiction and magical realism, The Gifts unpacks the bizarre Victorian obsession with angels—celestial angels, the perfect domestic angel every man supposedly wanted in a wife, and the “alternate fact” that actual women could sometimes sprout actual wings…Hyder interweaves these [women’s] stories in very short chapters, each a miniature jewel of world-building, unique characterization, and dramatic intrigue." — Historical Novel Society
"I devoured The Gifts, eager to find out the fate of its wonderfully drawn characters. A wonderful, atmospheric book that immersed me in the dirty streets of nineteenth century London and swept me away to the hills of Shropshire. A real gem." — Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City and Miss Aldridge Regrets
"Haunting, thrilling, wonderful. I loved it." — Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars
"Fierce and touching, this extremely compelling novel follows its female protagonists through 19th century London where a surgeon struggles with the dark lure of scientific ambition while his marriage crumbles, a journalist pursues the mystery of the angel fished from the Thames and two young women find themselves inexplicably transformed in the depths of despair. Beautiful and riveting." — Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne