Price  £11.99
Format  Paperback and ebook
Published  10 May 2018
Length  352 pages
ISBN  9781905559909
ISBN  9781905559916  (ebook)

Click to order

Click to order


The Brondesbury Tapestry
Helen Harris                                      

Illustrations by Beatrice Baumgartner-Cohen

Six women and one man gather in a rundown community centre in North London for a life writing class run by Dorothy, their uniquely unqualified teacher. They have urgent stories to tell and, as they recount them, they discover they are connected in unexpected ways.

There is Iris, eighty years old but still with a taste for younger men; Pearl single-handedly bringing up her grandson, enigmatic hooded Kai; elusive Renée; Sabine whose happy Belgian childhood may not have been as happy as it sounds; mixed-up Esther; Edgar whose winning ways charm them all and of course there is Enid, the retired art teacher, who insists on telling her story in pictures not words.

Illustrated with sharp line drawings by illustrator Beatrice Baumgartner-Cohen, The Brondesbury Tapestry is a quirky, perceptive look at a group of people who feel the modern world has left them behind but who have decided that they will still have the last word.


"Telling your life story is not just wallowing in nostalgia you know…It gives people the opportunity to pass on the version of their life they want. It gives them a chance to right wrongs, to set down burdens they’ve been carrying around for years: secrets, horrible things.”




About Helen Harris

Helen Harris is the prize-winning author of five novels and many short stories, published in a wide range of magazines and anthologies. She teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.


Latest News

January 2019

The Brondesbury Tapestry is longlisted for the People’s Book Prize for Fiction.

This literary prize uniquely allows readers to vote for their favourite books. Vote here! No need to register.


June 2018

Waterstones: 'This is not a book about older people self indulgently looking back on their lives through rosy hues … but about the unique perspectives we have of our own lives, how others might see things differently, but ultimately how liberating and empowering it can be to give our own version of events, whatever the truth. It is for us to decide how much to reveal, how much to leave out, how much to embellish, how much to replace, and how much to invent from scratch. The reader is challenged to wonder how we would write our own life story!'

Read the full review


Left on the Shelf: 'Essentially, this is about how we view ourselves and others and the persona that we each present to the world. I absolutely loved this book and encourage you to discover this delightful novel for yourself. '

Read the full review


May 2018

Nudge Book: '... intriguing, quirky and thought provoking. The stories the characters tell serve to illustrate that there is really no such thing as an “ordinary" life...'

Read the full review


Read a chapter of the book here


Praise for Sylvia Garland's Broken Heart

The Observer: 'one of those rare novels that makes you brood on its characters in the intervals when you are not reading, and wonder what is happening to them...I can’t think of anyone better – at describing just how irritating everyone can be.'

Read the full review

November 2014


The Booktrust: 'Sylvia Garland's Broken Heart is a sensitive portrayal of the complexities of modern family life...This absorbing reflection on the joys and sorrows of marriage and parenthood comes highly recommended.'

Read the full review

October 2014