Briefly, A Delicious Life

Nell Stevens

22 June 2023
336 pages


Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
'Wildly seductive'
Sarah Waters - 'Exquisite' New York Times - 'Deeply enjoyable' Daily Telegraph

Blanca has been dead for a few centuries when she falls in love – instantly and devotedly – with celebrated novelist George Sand. George is unlike anyone Blanca has encountered in hundreds of years of haunting: a woman dressed in men’s clothes, a ferocious writer, a passionate lover of men and women alike and an ambivalent mother.

It is 1838, and George has come to the island of Mallorca with her ailing lover, Frédéric Chopin. As the weather and the locals turn against this strange couple, can the love of a teenage ghost keep them from disaster?

Briefly, A Delicious Life is a story about breaking convention, and about love – yearning, secret, forbidden, unrequited.

'Dazzling' Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces and Milk Fed

‘A luscious, multi-sensory bewitchment of a book’ Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies

‘A shining work of art’ Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory

'Electrifyingly beautiful, exhilaratingly clever . . . sensual, original, intelligent and brimming with love' Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

‘Hugely accomplished’ The Guardian

‘A playful, otherworldly debut’ Stylist

A luscious, multi-sensory bewitchment of a book - Stevens’ writing rings with wit and surprise
I found myself floored by the astonishing freshness of this historical novel . . . A shining work of art, but so deftfully, gracefully done, that it was a struggle to stop myself from turning the pages. Nell Stevens is an original, whose touch is as deft as it is masterful
Stevens is brilliant at describing desire