1639. Zeal Beester, mistress of the rolling Hampshire estate of Hawkridge, is pregnant, unwed, and the King has banished her lover to the New World. The Puritan Praise-God Gifford will have her burnt at the stake for depravity.
To save herself and the child, Zeal becomes the wife of Philip Wentworth, an ageing soldier and adventurer. But PhilipÃ�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â�s extraordinary tales of El Dorado only remind her of her exiled lover.
As the chaos of Civil War approaches, Zeal begins to rebuild Hawkridge House as the Memory Palace and the secret map of her heart. Part maze, part theatre, part great country house, it enrages the Puritans and inspires in one twisted soul a hatred and envy that only death will satisfy.
Should the King be killed, Zeal's lover may return only to find Zeal and the child in their gravesÃ�Â¢Ã�Â�Ã�Â¦
Christie Dickason was born in America but also lived as a child in Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland. Harvard-educated, and a former theatre director and choreographer (with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at Ronnie Scott's among others), she lives in London with her family.