The Curiosity Cabinet

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a Scottish-based novelist and playwright who has written plays for the stage and for BBC radio and television, and published eight works of fiction.

Her latest book, A Proper Person to be Detained, is something of a departure: it tells the true story of the murder of her great-great-uncle in 19th-century Leeds.

Catherine’s novels include The Physic Garden, The Jewel, and The Curiosity Cabinet, which was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. Her latest novel, The Posy Ring, is the beginning of a trilogy set on the same Scottish island featured in The Curiosity Cabinet. She has edited For Jean, a collection of Robert Burns’ poetry and songs written for his wife, and Catherine’s short stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies.

Catherine has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. When not writing, she collects and deals in the antique textiles that often find their way into her fiction.

The Curiosity Cabinet

by Catherine Czerkawska

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £3.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781910192603
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781910192610

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When Alys revisits the beautiful Scottish island of Garve after an absence of 25 years, she is captivated by the embroidered casket on display in her hotel. She discovers that it belongs to Donal, her childhood playmate, and soon they resume their old friendship.

Interwoven with the story of their growing love is the darker 18th-century tale of Henrietta Dalrymple, kidnapped by the formidable Manus McNeill and held on Garve against her will. Despite the 300 years separating them, the women are strongly connected: their parallel lives are linked by the cabinet and its contents, by the tug of motherhood and by the magic of the Hebridean island itself.

But Garve has its secrets, past and present. Donal must learn to trust Alys enough to confide in her and, like Henrietta before her, Alys must earn the right to belong.

Prizes and awards

Dundee International Book Prize, SHORTLISTED

REVIEWS OF The Curiosity Cabinet

“Elegant, restrained prose...compelling.” – Sunday Times pick of historical fiction.

“Historical fiction at its most luxurious.” – Authors Electric.

“A powerful story of love and obligation.” – John Burnside.

“Moving, poetic and quietly provocative.” – The Independent

“Heart-warming, realistic and page-turning.” – Lorraine Kelly.

“Beautiful – lyrical and sensual.” – Hilary Ely.

“Blisteringly eloquent.” – The Scotsman