The Woman in the Sable Coat

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“Excellent—I could not put it down.”—Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War

From the acclaimed author of The Orphan of Salt Winds, The Whispering House, and The House in the Orchard comes a passionate and fateful story of love, betrayal, and the rewards—and costs—of following your heart.

At the height of the Second World War in England, twenty-two year old Nina Woodrow joins the British Royal Air Force and rebels against her careful upbringing by embarking on an illicit affair with an officer. She risks losing everything for Guy Nicholson: her comfortable home, her childhood friends, and, especially, the love of her father, an enigmatic widower.

Meanwhile, in the sleepy village where Nina grew up, where the upheavals of war seem far away and divorce remains taboo, Kate Nicholson struggles to cope with her new role as the wronged wife. She finds an unlikely confidant in Nina’s father, Henry, and as they grow closer Kate finds that she’s embroiled in something much murkier, and more menacing, than a straightforward friendship.

Sweeping and impassioned, with pitch-perfect period detail, Elizabeth Brooks’ The Woman in the Sable Coat tells the story of two families fatally entangled in one another’s deepest, darkest secrets.


  • Brooks is particularly adept at evoking [a] tumultuous emotional atmosphere.

    —The New York Times Book Review

  • Exceptionally vivid. . . . a story of betrayal and unlikely friendships filled with reflective tidbits of wisdom, the novel blends WWII fiction with idyllic romance drama and a touch of macabre thriller. . . . like an updated and more approachable Jane Austen.

    —The Associated Press

  • A seductive gothic novel. . . . Readers will be rapt.

    —Publishers Weekly

  • Suspenseful. . . . A new-fashioned, old-fashioned story of love, deception and buried secrets.

    —Kirkus Reviews

  • With a sense of suspense and menace in the vein of Daphne du Maurier. . . .The Woman in the Sable Coat is a slow burn of a novel, with a lovely, surprising moment of redemption and connection. . . at the story’s end.

    —Book Page

  • Secrets, betrayals, and compromises abound as these very different women navigate treacherous relationships to find safe harbor in Brooks’ taut novel.


  • Ripe with psychologically-complex characters and relentless attention to detail, Brooks’ literary success comes from pushing the genre’s boundaries. . . . breathes new life into the genre of historical fiction.

    —West Trade Review

  • A story of infidelity, secrets, murder, friendship, and marriage. . . . a wonderful read.

    —Historical Novel Society

  • I was compelled to stay up way past my bedtime on more than one occasion. Highly recommended to lovers of historical fiction.

    —California Reading

  • A beautifully written evocation of a young girl’s coming-of-age, and plunging into womanhood and war, which gradually intensifies into a gothic unease that would make Daphne Du Maurier proud. Excellent―I could not put it down.

    —Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before The War

  • The Woman in the Sable Coat isn’t just a breath of fresh air; it’s a gust, blowing away stale tropes of the World War II novel and replacing them with an intriguing tale of vivid characters caught in the snares of love, war, and deception.

    —Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  • Reading Elizabeth Brooks’s new novel The Woman in the Sable Coat feels like stepping into an alternate version of I Capture the Castle written by Patricia Highsmith and filmed by Alfred Hitchcock. A mesmerizing, psychologically complex story about two women who meet at an impromptu dinner party in the 1930s English countryside—an encounter that sets off a decade of secrets and betrayals–only to discover their dreams of romance might be the greatest self-betrayal of all. From quaint village life and a war-time RAF airbase, to the snowy wilds of Canada and a storm-tossed ocean liner, The Woman in the Sable Coat spins a literary tale full of penetrating detail, enigmatic characters, and delicious plot twists. Not since Atonement have I read a book so unexpected in its telling, or its power.

    —Natalie Jenner, Internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society