In the Mirror, a Peacock Danced

In the Mirror, a Peacock Danced
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Justine Bothwick
24 June 2021
Agora Books

Set against the lush backdrop of early 20th-century India, In the Mirror, a Peacock Danced – the debut novel from Justine Bothwick is the moving story of one woman’s journey back to herself.

Agra, 1938: Eighteen-year-old Florence Hunt has grown up riding horses past the Taj Mahal and chasing peacocks through her backyard under the critical gaze of her father. Increasingly enamoured with his work on the booming railway, Florence yearns to know more, but finds herself brushed away, encouraged only to perform the more ladylike hobbies of singing and entertaining guests. So when a dazzling young engineer walks into her life, she finds herself not only gripped by secret lessons in physics but swept entirely off her feet.

Portsmouth, 1953: Fifteen years later, Florence finds herself pregnant and alone in post-war England – a far cry from her sun-drenched existence in India. Struggling to cope with the bleakness of everyday life in a male-dominated world, Florence is desperate to find the woman she used to be. But when someone from her past reaches out, Florence might just have a chance to start over.

Soaring from the shimmering heights of the big top to the depths of heartbreak, can Florence find the happiness, independence, and passion she once had in order to start living again?


‘a heartbreaking yet hopeful tale of one woman’s determination, told in luminous, shining prose.’ – Lucie McKnight Hardy, author of Water Shall Refuse Them

‘an extraordinary novel’ – Suzanne Goldring, author of My Name is Eva

bedazzling‘ – Agatha Zaza, author of The Pretenders

‘A moving, exciting narrative of contrasts.’ – Nuala O’Connor, author of NORA

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