THE judging panel for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction have announced a shortlist of seven books going forward for the £25,000 award.

And the Border Telegraph will be revealing what the panel of Katie Grant (Chair), Elizabeth Buccleuch, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, James Naughtie, Kirsty Wark and, for 2023, award-winning documentary maker, journalist and writer Saira Shah thought about each book.

READ MORE: Shortlist announced for prestigious Walter Scott Prize

Every weekday morning we will select a different book, starting with ‘These Days’ Lucy Caldwell (Faber) 

The judges said: “At the start of April 1941 it seemed that Belfast had avoided the worst of the war, compared, that is, to the industrial cities of England.

“That changed on the night of 7th April and the following days when German bombers devastated the city, damaging or destroying half the houses, killing and maiming many thousands and demoralising the rest.   

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“These Days focuses on two sisters, Audrey and Emma, whose young lives will be forever changed by what they have experienced; their comfortable and secure middle-class world shattered.

“The juxtaposition of the horrific and mundane and the authenticity of detail makes this novel an exceptional study of the terrors and consequences of war.” 

The winner receives £25,000, and each shortlisted author receives £1,500, making the Walter Scott Prize amongst the richest fiction prizes in the UK.

The winner will be announced at a special event at the Borders Book Festival on Thursday June 15 2023.

Tomorrow we will see what they thought of ‘The Geometer Lobachevsky’ Adrian Duncan (Tuskar Rock Press)