Anne Leigh Parrish Writer

The Hedgerow

A novel by Anne Leigh Parrish | Unsolicited Press June 2024

It’s 1949, the freedom granted women by the Second World War is over, and stifling social conventions are once more at play. Edith Sloan, the rebellious, well-educated heroine of An Open Door returns in The Hedgerow to pursue her dreams of owning a thriving bookstore on Harvard Square and establishing a poetry press to publish the silent and underserved. Free of her dreary marriage to Walter, she receives a proposal from Henry, a wealthy British peer and the man who made the purchase of her bookstore possible. When she accepts, is it from love or gratitude? Will being his wife help or hinder her plans? Edith soon finds herself at the intersection of free expression and censorship. Duty competes with desire, while serious endeavors are undermined by trivial pursuits. As she tries to balance the competing demands in her life, troubling facts from Henry’s past come to light. Edith also discovers that being a pioneer in publishing comes with consequences she hadn’t foreseen. The decade draws to a close and delivers one more surprise Edith must summon extraordinary courage to face.

Praise for The Hedgerow

Anne Leigh Parrish’s The Hedgerow, set in 1949, is a tale of disorienting changes in American society and in the personal life of Edith Sloan, the introspective heroine of this marvelous sequel to Parrish’s poignant An Open Door. With a brilliantly-realized metaphor at its heart—Edith, her family, ex-husband, lovers, friends, and associates are a microcosm of America—the novel foreshadows struggles between self-expression and group think, personal identity and conformity, that will characterize the imminent 1950s. Historically perceptive, current as tomorrow’s headlines, The Hedgerow is compelling fiction that crackles with honesty. —ROBERT CROOKE, author of Letting the House Go