Antonia began her career in the Education Department of the Natural History Museum in London, working with school groups and running creative workshops. She went on to train as a teacher and led departments in a range of schools from a single-sex grammar to an Ofsted-failed inner city comprehensive. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and four children, where she writes, reads, bakes, sings a cappella jazz and showtunes in a champion chorus and refuses to take on a dog. Her debut novel, The Ship, was published to great critical acclaim in February 2015. It was written as a work of fiction, but its nightmare vision of an unequal and desperate society seems to be coming truer every day.
The Ship: Welcome to London – but not as you know it. Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist. Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen. Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want? What is the price of salvation?