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The Woman in The Sable Coat

From the acclaimed author of The Orphan of Salt Winds, The Whispering House, and The House in the Orchard comes a passionate and fateful story of love, betrayal, and the rewards—and costs—of following your heart.

Tin House Books
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Elizabeth Brooks


At the height of the Second World War in England, twenty-two year old Nina Woodrow joins the British Royal Air Force and rebels against her careful upbringing by embarking on an illicit affair with an officer. She risks losing everything for Guy Nicholson: her comfortable home, her childhood friends, and, especially, the love of her father, an enigmatic widower.

Meanwhile, in the sleepy village where Nina grew up, where the upheavals of war seem far away and divorce remains taboo, Kate Nicholson struggles to cope with her new role as the wronged wife. She finds an unlikely confidant in Nina’s father, Henry, and as they grow closer Kate finds that she’s embroiled in something much murkier, and more menacing, than a straightforward friendship.

Sweeping and impassioned, with pitch-perfect period detail, Elizabeth Brooks’ The Woman in the Sable Coat tells the story of two families fatally entangled in one another’s deepest, darkest secrets.


The Woman in the Sable Coat, while full of rewarding surprises is truly made by Brooks’ voice, in which every word has value and helps shape the exact texture of the moment… It’s an exceptionally vivid picture, both of the scenery and the inner workings of the characters’ minds. Emotions and motives are painted with rich colours that draw your eye to the most delicious details… A story of betrayal and unlikely friendships filled with reflective tidbits of wisdom, the novels blends WWII fiction with idyllic romance drama and a touch of macabre thriller for a polished addition to Brooks’ works.’
The Associated Press

‘The Woman in the Sable Coat spins a literary tale full of penetrating detail, enigmatic characters, and delicious plot twists. Not since Atonement have I read a book so unexpected in its telling, or its power.’
Natalie Jenner, Internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society

‘Brooks concocts an increasingly complex web of misunderstanding and misdirection…A new-fashioned, old-fashioned story of love, deception and buried secrets’

‘A beautifully written evocation of young girls coming-of-age, and plunging into womanhood and war, which gradually intensifies into a gothic unease that would make Daphne Du Maurier proud. Excellent- I could not put it down’
Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before The War and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

‘Brooks’s moody tale defies standard-issue WWII narratives of resilience, focusing instead on characters reexamining their relationships in the face of difficult truths. Readers will be rapt.’
Publishers Weekly

The Woman in the Sable Coat isn’t just a breath of fresh air; it’s a gust, blowing away stale tropes of the World War II novel and replacing them with an intriguing tale of vivid characters caught in the snares of love, war, and deception’
Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

‘Brooks draws in readers with a unique plot and several unexpected secrets. Told in multiple POVs, Brooks’s latest features complex yet fragile characters that will engage readers until the end.’
Library Journal