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Hot Stew (MP3 CD)
May 2021 Indie Next List
“A young millionaire wants to turn an old Soho brothel into luxury condos, but the tenants aren’t going to leave without a fight. A riveting tale about wealth, class, gentrification, power, and gender, this story shows readers just how unjust the world can be. A 2021 must-read!”
— Jennie Minor, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
The author of the Booker Prize finalist Elmet turns her keen eye from the gothic woods of Yorkshire to the streets and pubs and caf's of contemporary London in this much-anticipated follow-up to her Elmet.In the middle of the bustle of Soho sits a building. It isn't particularly assuming. But it's a prime piece of real estate, and a young millionaire, Agatha Howard, wants to convert it into luxury condos as soon as she can kick out all the tenants.The problem is that the building in question houses a brothel, and Precious and Tabitha, two of the women who live and work there, are not going to go quietly. And another problem is that just where did Agatha's fortune come from?
The fight over this piece of property also draws in the men who visit, including Robert, a one-time member of a far-right group and enforcer for Agatha's father; Jackie, a policewoman intent on making London a safer place for all women; Bastian, a rich and dissatisfied party boy who pines for an ex-girlfriend; and a collection of vagabonds and strays who occupy the basement. As these characters--with surprising hidden connections and shadowy pasts--converge, the fight over the property boils over into a hot stew.Entertaining, sharply funny, and dazzlingly accomplished, Hot Stew confronts questions about wealth and inheritance, gender and power, and the things women must do to survive in an unjust world.