The Cookbook of Common Prayer

Longlisted for the Authors’ Club – Best First Novel Award.

When Gill and Gabe’s elder son drowns overseas, they decide they must hide the truth from their desperately unwell teenaged daughter. But as Gill begins to send letters from her dead son to his sister, the increasingly elaborate lie threatens to prove more dangerous than the truth. 

A novel about family, food, grief, and hope, this gripping, lyrical story moves between Tasmania and London, exploring the many ways that a family can break down – and the unexpected ways that it can be put back together.

Exceptional, soul-stirring story […]. What a devastatingly honest – and brilliant – book this is. […] Earth-shatteringly raw and resonant, it’s a book that will break your heart and heal it. […] the story reels and swerves to a truly edge-of-your-seat, hold-your-breath conclusion. While the family’s pain and grief always tangible, the buds of healing are too. What a book.


‘Sometimes, books come along that have such an unassuming elegance about them, and this is one. […] One to savour long after you have turned the last page.’

Nina Pottell, Prima magazine

‘Gripping … an extraordinary concept, and it is so sensitively executed. Beautifully written … her depiction of grief is really convincing. … A terrific, terrific piece of writing.’

Annabel Crabb

The best way to support independent bookshops is to buy direct from your local indie bookshop. Most offer a simple online service – some of my favourites are BurleyFisher Books, Bookbar, or the Big Green Bookshop.

Purchases from also support independent bookshops. You can order The Cookbook of Common Prayer here, or through Waterstones, here.

You can also order through Amazon, here, or buy the Kindle edition here.

Goldsboro Books is selling a limited run of signed copies, which you can preorder here. (Update: now sold out, sorry.)

If you missed the (online) UK launch event on Thursday 3rd June, with Francesca in conversation about the novel (with literary agent Juliet Mushens), you can view a recording here: