#BookReview: Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris

Title: Orfeia

Author: Joanne M. Harris

Genre: Fantasy, mythology

Publisher: Gollancz

Pages: 240 pages

Publication Date: 3rd September 2020

My Rating: 4.5/5




The stunning new novella from No 1 bestselling author Joanne Harris: Orfeia is a gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus Myth, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins

When you can find me an acre of land,
Every sage grows merry in time,
Between the ocean and the sand
Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

Praise for Joanne’s previous novellas:

“It may be a little book, but it has considerable power to enchant” – METRO on A Pocketful of Crows

“Love, treachery, the call of the ocean: this wintry modern fairy tale features all three… perfect for anyone who loves a good story.” MAIL ON SUNDAY on The Blue Salt Road




A magical female retelling of the Orpheus myth with a tragic quest through reality and dreams. This was completely unlike anything I have read and the emotions pour out of the pages.

Fay is heartbroken after the loss of her daughter and has begun running to try to give herself a purpose. She is seeing a therapist to discuss her grief but doesn’t tell her about how she feels more comfortable in the darkness. When she stumbles upon a group of strange people yet wonderful people, the course of her grief is changed forever.

When Fay awakes in the middle of London, she expects the usual hustle and bustle. However, this version of London is completely different from what she knows. The shop windows are covered in vines, ivy and with the wilderness taking over and claiming what is theirs.

Fay knows that anything is possible in this version of London. With dresses made from sequin bugs, shadowless talking tigers, and evil forces. This is a book you do not want to miss.

If you enjoy reading fantasy, fairytale retellings, and dreaming this is definitely one for you! A fantastic world that I didn’t want to leave…

About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller. She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime. Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born. Find out more at www.joanne-harris.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @Joannechocolat.

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Happy reading,


2 thoughts on “#BookReview: Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris

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