My new novel, The Lovers of Amherst, is now out (published as Amherst in the US). It’s in some ways my love letter to the poet Emily Dickinson, who I first encountered over forty years ago. Her poems shock and thrill me as much today as they did then. She herself is so unfathomable that I’ve been shy of writing about her, though over the years I’ve accumulated a great deal of knowledge about her, as well as a first edition of her poems, published in 1890. Then when Polly Longhurst published her edited edition of the letters and diaries Read More

Review by Kitty Wheater, Press Association BAFTA-winning screenwriter and novelist William Nicholson has outdone himself with this sequel to Motherland. The ambitious Reckless is set largely against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis. London is a complex social world: bachelor Rupert advises Mountbatten as the rhetoric escalates and governments wage a war of bluster; Pamela is 18, bored, beautiful, and desperate to fall in love but falls in with Stephen Ward and Christine Keeler instead; at 29, Mary lives anonymously, ashamed of the childhood visions of Jesus Christ that turned her into a child prophet in Ireland; Khrushchev and Read More

It comes as no surprise, reading the opening paragraphs of Motherland, to discover that William Nicholson is an award-winning screenwriter, with movies such as Shadowlands and Gladiator to his credit. The novel introduces its characters with filmic economy: Alice Dickinson, a young English woman, is on her way to France to visit her grandmother who, until 10 days before, knew nothing of her existence. She has also just ended an unsatisfactory love affair. Herself an accidental conception, Alice comes, her father tells her, “from a long line of mistakes”. It is left to her grandmother to tell her the family’s Read More

Maggie and Andrew are lovers who live apart – Maggie in the country, Andrew in London. When Andrew is offered a job close to Maggie, moving in with her is the next obvious step. Or is it? Moving in together leads to marriage. Is this the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with? Maggie panics. Andrew is devastated. But when he turns the tables on her, Maggie begins to see him rather differently. Meanwhile Maggie’s Sussex neighbours are living through their own intense dilemmas. Henry’s midlife crisis is exacerbated by a plague of rabbits in his Read More

The sequel to ‘The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life’, set eight years later, in December 2008. Gorgeous Chloe is now 19, and takes it upon herself to set Alice up with Jack, which would be great except Jack’s dreaming of Chloe… Chloe’s mother Belinda, aged 50, wistfully reflects how much better at sex she is now than when she was young, but she’d never be unfaithful to her husband Tom. So when she discovers he’s having an affair she’s more than angry….   Reviews    

My novel for teens: First love, first sex, and everything in between. Why did I write Rich and Mad? Reviews Falling in love for the first time is also the primary theme of William Nicholson’s compelling and funny Rich and Mad, now out in paperback. An astonishingly versatile author, who has written plays and screenplays (Shadowlands and Gladiator among them), as well as adult fiction, Nicholson began writing for children a few years ago and this is his first novel for young adults. I would definitely place it at the adult end of the spectrum, since there is plenty of Read More

The story starts with 42-year-old Laura, married to Henry, mother of two children, getting a letter from Nick, the former love of her life. Even the handwriting on the envelope brings back the intensity of that first and greatest love affair, over twenty years ago. She never knew why he left her. The wounds have never healed. Now he’s back, and wants to meet her again – and she realises she doesn’t want to tell Henry. Each decision she takes has a ripple effect on her husband, her children, and all those she comes into contact with. In short chapter Read More

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Do people really fall in love at first sight? Bron is a writer who has been commissioned to research a book on the subject. He’s also a commitment-phobe who doesn’t believe it happens. Then the chance combination of a misty morning, a woodland glade, and a glimpse of a beautiful stranger changes everything. Bron falls helplessly, hopelessly head over heels in love – at first sight. He abandons his research and pursues the enigmatic Flora to win her heart. But each time he comes close to her, she slips out of reach again. Bron’s pursuit of love leads him ever Read More

To escape the pressures of family life and alienation from his contemporaries, the unnamed narrator of this existential novel heads out from home to hitchhike without destination. But his journey soon turns into an orgy of violence. A truck picks him up and soon we are at a checkpoint in some totalitarian European state riddled with terrorists. The driver hands the narrator a slip of paper and then tells him to jump” he does, just before the driver is shot and the truck is blown up, revealing its cargo of books. “He has nowhere to go. So he goes there.” Read More