Red Joan

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Joan’s voice is almost a whisper. ‘Nobody talked about what they did during the war. We all knew we weren’t allowed to.’

Joan Stanley has a secret.
For fifty years she has been a loving mother, a doting grandmother and an occasional visitor to ballroom dancing and watercolour classes. Then one sunlit spring morning there is a knock on the door.


“Rooney is a novelist at home with life’s ambiguities, her plotting pleasingly intricate, her narrative richly textured. As the needle swings around her moral compass, her characters are contradictory, our sympathies for them similarly so. Even though I kept remembering the opening vignette, in which Joan is shown to be the sort of granny who steals geranium cuttings from her neighbour’s garden, her realistic vulnerability won my affection.”
Telegraph (UK)

“An exciting and intelligent novel. . . . Rooney’s re-creation of the politics of the day is brilliant.”
The Times
“Rooney has already shown herself to be a marvelous portrait artist of character in her previous two novels. . . . This is an infectious page-turner, as crafty and nuanced and impassioned as any classic thriller, but one that doesn't forget where its heart is . . . and is a case study in how to handle complex characters and motivations, keeping the reader on tenterhooks until the work's final moments.”
The National

Red Joan is a captivating tale. . . . Jennie Rooney’s elegantly cra­fted tale moves fluidly.”