The West Yorkshire-set Mrs England features on a 14-strong longlist drawn up by Portico’s Society of Readers and Writers, a collective of literacy advocates, booksellers, librarians, writers, and critics based across the North.
Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. It is Halls’ third novel following the bestselling success of The Familiars and The Foundling.
The Portico Prize has been running since 1985, with previous winners including Val McDermid, Anthony Burgess, Sarah Hall, Jenny Uglow, and – most recently – Jessica Andrews for Saltwater.
The shortlist will be announced on December 7th, with the winner revealed at a ceremony at the Portico Library in January.