By Gemma Reeves

A stylish, searing drama about the complicated love between mothers and daughters, the indelible impact of estrangement – and one woman fiercely coming into her own.


‘Fresh and daring’


‘One of the best books I’ve read in a while . . . A real triumph’


‘A complex story about motherhood, inheritance and the things we’re willing to forsake in the name of desire’



‘When my mother washed my hair she crooned, mamele, mamele, into my ear. Little mother, meaning little daughter, meaning you’re a good girl, Edie.’

Edie lives in a crumbling country house in Broadstairs with her partner Joanna. They have spent over a decade together since the death of Harry, the third member of their polyamorous marriage. It’s a quiet, comfortable existence – but conversations about the mother who abandoned her have recently awoken in Edie feelings she long thought buried.

As Edie’s memories unspool – childhood days among the gossiping housewives of the mansion block, intense adolescent love affairs, clandestine nights in London clubs – she is forced to confront her ghosts and piece together the various parts of herself, as a queer woman and the daughter of a Jewish émigré. Now in her early fifties, she wonders whether there is still time to become the woman she once yearned to be.

In Mamele, Gemma Reeves writes with extraordinary deftness about unconventional families, cultural inheritance and separation, loneliness and aching desire.

Format: ebook
Release Date: 01 Aug 2024
Pages: None
ISBN: 978-0-00-865820-5
Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London. VICTORIA PARK, Gemma\'s debut novel, was published by Allen & Unwin (Atlantic Books) in January 2021.

Praise for Mamele -

”'Mamele won my heart. A complex story about motherhood, inheritance and the things we're willing to forsake in the name of desire. Reeves' prose is muscular and moving - a triumph.” - AMY TWIGG, author of Spoilt Creatures

”'A haunting novel, deeply felt and melodically composed, which asks the question: can we escape the fate our families assign us? Overwhelming and seductive.” - LUCIE ELVEN, author of The Weak Spot

”'One of the best books I’ve read in a while - one of those rare, perfect novels where I found myself hurrying back to it but also dreading its end. The characters are alive, gleaming with truth and nuance. The prose is deft, moving, full of surprise. A real triumph; it deserves to soar.” - ELIZABETH MACNEAL, author of The Doll Factory

”'I absolutely adored the sensual journey Mamele took me on. Gemma’s prose is immersive. It is such a personal story, yet, it feels like a journey of discovery - as Edie tells us her story, she is discovering the truth of it for the first time. Mamele is fresh and daring.” - KATE SAWYER, author of The Stranding

”'There’s a wonderful rhythm to Gemma Reeves” - writing, which is thoughtful and poised and pulled me along from the first page to the last. I found Mamele to be a mesmerising and deeply felt novel about mothers and daughters, inheritance, art, intimacy and desire. I’ll be thinking about it for some time' CHLOE ASHBY, author of Wet Paint and Second Self