The House of Marvellous Books
Fiona Vigo Marshall
May 24, 2022
The House of Marvellous Books by Fiona Vigo Marshall (Fairlight Books 2022) describes a publishing house called The House of Marvelous Books that houses an old library in the center of London and hovers on the brink of financial disaster. Told in journal entries over the course of a year by Junior editor Mortimer Blakely-Smith, the publishing house seems to stumble into one disaster after another. The publisher focuses on safety issues, his assistant has cataracts and is nearly blind, and the chief editor is obsessed with finding a famous missing manuscript buried somewhere in the building. Mortimer grapples with his elderly uncle, annoying co-workers, a close friend who is in prison for stealing precious books from libraries all over the world, and hearsay about mysterious Russian buyers. Along the way, he attends fabulous concerts, reads Proust, and works on his own novel, about the patron saint of navigation.
Fiona Vigo Marshall was born in London and educated at Somerville College, Oxford. Her debut novel Find Me Falling, published by Fairlight Books in 2019, was shortlisted for the Paul Torday Memorial Prize 2020. The House of Marvellous Books is her second novel. Her short stories and poems have been nominated for numerous awards, including the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, which she won in 2016 with her short story ‘The Street of Baths’. Her work has appeared in Prospect, Ambit, The Royal Society of Literature Review, Orbis International Literary Journal, and The London Journal of Fiction. When not writing or reading, Fiona enjoys walking, swimming in the sea, and attending to her allotment or garden. She has a lifelong love of classical music.