The Chestnut Roaster


“Starting on All Fools Day, twelve years ago, I remember everything. EVERYTHING. That was a wet Tuesday, and that was the day I was born.”

12-year-old Piaf has the ability to (and burden of) remembering everything that has happened since the day she was born. When she discovers everyone in Paris has forgotten the entire last year, 1887, including the disappearance of several gifted children, Piaf and her twin brother Luc embark on a dangerous journey that brings them to the depths of Paris’s underground twin, the Catacombs, to capture the memory thief and find the lost children—but are the two connected? And who dare they trust?


From the acclaimed  author of   Elsetime, shortlisted for The Awesome Book Award, winner of the Wells Festival of Literature Award Children’s Book Award , a  historical fantasy thriller with a dazzling, but tiny heroine who will stop at nothing to catch a memory thief and restore some lost children to their parents. Set in Paris in 1888—both above and below ground. Follow Piaf into the depth of the catacombs, down tunnels  among  the dead and the living on a furious chase against time

—An immersive, sensory, exciting journey through Paris in the year 1888, and the city comes to vivid fictional life in its pages. An exciting, fast-paced, whirlwind of a story. Fans of McDonnell’s earlier novel Elsetime will appreciate a similar sense of history melding with fiction, as well as strong, inventive, resourceful, intelligent child protagonists who are brave and driven by love for their dear ones, as well as a principled sense of justice.  Sinéad O’Hart, author of The Eye of the North
—Like reading a poem: beautiful, mysterious and captivating. The writing is sublime.’  Kieran Larwood, author of The Five Realms Series
—Just phenomenal! I went overland and underland & every space in between through the city of light and dark, loving every step. A stunning book.’  Zillah Bethell, author of The Shark Caller

Book Details


198mm x 129mm






27/10/ 2022


Eve McDonnell