My second novel, published by Fourth Estate and HarperPerennial, reissued in 2011. Young protagonist Fanny Newlove moves to Margate with her family in 1835. The discovery of an underground shell grotto in their new back garden is a catalyst for the unravelling of Fanny’s world, as childhood secrets are replaced by adult intrigues and ruthless profiteering.
'The Realm of Shells has that stamp of energy and orignality which marks out Sonia Overall as extremely unusual and talented' Margaret Forster
'confident and vividly energetic in a way that is entirely captivating... I cannot recommend this novel too highly' Daily Telegraph
'...Fanny's voice, full of onomatopoeic accounts of household noise and incident, is thoroughly engaging' D.J. Taylor, Independent
'this pre-Victorian, pre-Industrial world is beautifully evoked and recounted by Fanny, with the same deftness of Harper Lee's Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird' Scotland on Sunday
'remarkable... it takes a writer of rare ability to produce a novel as good as this' Glasgow Herald
'Fanny proves an engaging and perceptive heroine... Overall writes movingly' Sunday Times
'a poignant, powerful novel' Big Issue