12jul6:30 PM8:30 PMNovelists Toby Lloyd and Neil DA Stewart join us in conversation6:30 PM - 8:30 PM(GMT+00:00)

Event Details

We’re really excited about this event which brings together two writers with standout novels of the year, in conversation with Sophie.

Toby Lloyd’s Fervour – described as The Secret History meets horror meets Jonathan Safran Foer – with a dash of The Royal Tenenbaums – is an exciting debut novel about a close-knit Jewish family in London pushed to the brink when they suspect their daughter is a witch.

Neil DA Stewart’s Test Kitchen is set on a single Tuesday night in a high-end East London restaurant, Midgard. It’s a novel about cooking and dining, about nourishing and consuming, and about the culture of food; and about mothers, mortality and magic.

This will be a brilliant night celebrating exciting new fiction and we can’t wait to welcome both authors. Neil and Toby will be in conversation with Sophie, followed by Q&A and signing. The Real Magic bar will be open for a cocktail or glass of wine included in the ticket price.


Test Kitchen

Welcome to a Tuesday night at London restaurant Midgard. The kitchen is buzzing. The tables are set. And the staff and guests take their place.
The maître d’ caught up in a conspiracy
The precocious young foodie with an axe to grind
The nervous new sous chef
The anonymous influential food critic
The patisserie chef stalked by her ex-lover
The wayward son of a dangerous family
The enigmatic head chef with the past she won’t discuss
The lone diner with the terrible wound to his face
Watching everything from her hidden vantage is Marley, the restaurant’s newest waitress. She alone knows bad things are about to unfold – but she is powerless to intervene. Tonight, everyone has a story. Is it too late to change how this one ends?

‘Test Kitchen is phenomenal – a mad, magical, ten-course feast of a novel, gorgeously written, totally original, packed with ideas and invention. Incredibly ambitious too – so many characters, so many stories, all of it choreographed so expertly. It deserves to be a massive success. Three Michelin stars!’ – Paul Murray, author of The Bee Sting

‘An amazing novel that hovers somewhere between the fantastical and gritty realism. Veering from humorous to horrifying, Neil Stewart shows real insight into the mildly unhinged nature of both high-end restaurants and their diners – with wit, lyricism and a killer turn of phrase’ – Marina O’Loughlin


Hannah and Eric are devout Jews living in North London with their three children and Eric’s father Yosef, a Holocaust survivor. Both intellectually gifted and deeply unconventional, the Rosenthals believe in the literal truth of the Old Testament and in the presence of God (and evil) in daily life.

As Hannah prepares to publish a sensationalist account of Yosef’s years in war-torn Europe – unearthing a terrible secret from his time in the camps- Elsie, her perfect daughter, starts to come undone. And then, in the wake of Yosef’s death, she disappears. When she returns, just as mysteriously as she left, she is altered in disturbing ways.
Witnessing the complete transformation of her daughter, Hannah begins to suspect that Elsie has delved too deep into the labyrinths of Jewish mysticism and got lost among shadows. But for Elsie’s brother Tovyah, a brilliant but reclusive student at Oxford, the truth is much simpler: his sister is the product of a dysfunctional family, obsessed with empty rituals and unbridled ambition.
But who is right? And how can they stop the darkness from engulfing Elsie forever?

‘Intriguing, propulsive and profoundly disturbing, this is a fearless look into the dark heart of family politics from a naturally gifted storyteller’ Jonathan Coe



(Friday) 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM(GMT+00:00)


Real Magic Books

2 Kings Head Parade, High St, Wendover, Aylesbury HP22 6DX, UK