SPOILT CREATURES skilfully and elegantly explores female rage and transgression as, over the course of a blistering summer, a women’s commune’s precarious existence is irreversibly threatened. It has a totally enthralling ensemble cast of characters – including the brilliantly awful Blythe, with fascinating dynamics and tensions between them. It won the BPA Pitch Prize and was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition and Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award; it will be published in June 2024 as one of Headline Tinder Press’s lead debuts.
‘People looked at the photographs and decided they knew everything about us. Believing in the oil spill of newspaper ink, how it clung to every shadow, conspiring grit and gloom. Always the same photos, of the farmhouse coming apart. Gaping windows like teeth punched out, streaks of blood across the kitchen floor where the women had walked with glass in their feet. […] People looked at them and came to their own conclusions – about Breach House, and about us. What kind of women we were. They never saw us in the summer, how we dug our hands into the soil and pulled life from it. The long evenings spent on the lawn. They never saw the life we had made for ourselves.’
32-year-old Iris is adrift: newly single, living at home with her mother and working a dead-end job. While out walking one day, she meets mysterious, beguiling Hazel, who lives at a women’s commune on a remote farm hidden in the Kent Downs. Iris is drawn to Hazel and the possibilities offered by an all-female space in a world where men have only let her down. At the farm, the women can be loud and dirty, live and eat abundantly, under the leadership of the gargantuan Blythe.
Over the course of a blistering summer, Iris throws herself into this alternative way of life, seizing on new experiences and hidden desires. But even among the women, she witnesses power struggles, cruelty and transgressions that will threaten their precarious existence. When a group of men arrive on the farm, the commune’s existence is thrown into question, culminating in an act of devastating violence.
Amy Twigg was born and raised in Kent. After studying Creative Writing at university, she moved to Surrey where she works as a freelance copywriter. She is also an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course and has been mentored by Tom de Freston. Amy is represented by Charlotte Seymour at Johnson & Alcock.