Accidental Darlings

By Crystal Jeans

A delightfully subversive and darkly funny new novel from Polari Prize-shortlisted author Crystal Jeans, inspired in part by Dickens’ Great Expectations

In the night, I slept with my head under a shawl, listening to the ceaseless low groans of the house, telling myself that my mother would never have sent me to live with a murderer or a witch or a Miss Havisham…


When Anastasia’s beloved mother dies, she has no choice but to go to rural Skimpole and move in with ‘the Aunt’ – too fearsome for a first name, an outcast from the village who lives in a dilapidated mansion with two servants and an unruly pack of dogs.

The many mysteries of Skimpole are irresistibly intriguing: how did Anastasia’s father really die? Who wrote the extremely raunchy love letters she has found in the Aunt’s bedroom, signed ‘Big Willy’? And why does everyone in the village hate the Aunt so much?

When some of the Aunt’s friends from her youth arrive at the house, wreathed in cigarette smoke and an air of debauchery, Anastasia may be closer to finding answers – but the truth she was so desperate to uncover will turn her entire world upside down…

From the author of THE INVERTS (‘the sort of thing Nancy Mitford might have written if she’d been gay… wonderfully blithe, witty and moving’ – Rowan Pelling, Daily Mail), this is a delightfully subversive and darkly funny novel, inspired in part by Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 01 Aug 2024
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-865758-1
Crystal Jeans\' first novel, The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise, was shortlisted for the Polari Prize and her second, Light Switches are my Kryptonite, won Wales Book of the Year in the English Language. Her breakout novel, The Inverts, was published by The Borough Press in 2021. Crystal lives in Pontypridd with her two children.

Praise for THE INVERTS: -

'An absolute *blinder*… so, so funny and sexy. So excited now to read everything by Crystal Jeans' Caroline O'Donoghue -

'A delightful book I wish to fling at my friends with affectionate abandon' DIVA -

'This delicious romp is the sort of thing Nancy Mitford might have written if she'd been gay… wonderfully blithe, witty and moving' Rowan Pelling, DAILY MAIL -

'Funny, outrageous, heartbreaking and so much fun' Kate Davies -