Shortlisted for the Authors Club First Novel Award

One of Elle Magazine’s Book of the Year

An Amazon Rising Star

Independent Top Ten Spring Picks

Reviews for Jakob’s Colours


“I thought it was a remarkable book – brave, big-hearted, and beautifully written. Harrowing too, of course, at times almost unbearably so, but Lindsay Hawdon meets the material with such honesty and courage we, as readers, can stay with it without feeling crushed by it. It’s a first novel that clearly announces the arrival of a very talented writer.”

Andrew Miller, author of Costa award-winning PURE


“A memorable debut …There is a theme here that fits the complicated structure, about the stories we tell to spin hope from despair. The prose is poetic and on occasion luminously beautifula powerful story.”

The Times


The book’s fairy tale tone, and its themes of hope and beauty are matched by Hawdon’s poetic language.



“A deeply involving tale, hazardous and harrowing, Hawdon has a fine eye for detail in description… [her] feel for the subject matter is instinctive … a well realised and unquestionably admirable enterprise. … she’ll go far.”



“She writes with raw power. This book demands to be read.”

John Humphrys


“Tackling the story of the lesser-known Gypsy Holocaust, Hawdon writes powerfully and sensitively about individuals deriving courage from what the can empathise with, during a terrible time.”

The Lady


“Lindsay Hawdon certainly didn’t pick an easy subject, but by heck it’s an important one, and she’s more than done it justice with this mesmerising and moving tale. A bewitchingly beautiful and utterly captivating story, which shows that hope exists even in the very darkest of places.”



“Lindsay Hawdon’s novel will crack your heart open.”

Sunday Express


“It IS the best book I’ve ever read…”

Linda’s Book Bag


“A haunting book, dealing with a little-known part of history, told in luminous and poetic prose.”

Rebecca Mascull, author of THE VISITORS


“A compassionate, hopeful heart beats strongly throughout this vivid work of poetic imagination as Jakob’s Colours journeys across time and space to illuminate a long neglected chapter in the wider tragedy of European history.”

Lindsay Clarke, author of THE CHYMICAL WEDDING


“Wonderfully written – the descriptions, the fractured timeline, the colours bleed off the page and into your soul. This is not just a great book, but a very important one.”

Marina Fiorato, author of BEATRICE AND BENEDICK


“A heartbreaking love story… Writing with passion and poetry, Lindsay Hawdon brings astonishing colour and life to an episode of unremitting darkness and despair. I honestly believe it stands comparison with D.M. Thomas’s classic The White Hotel.”

Rory Clements, author of the bestselling John Shakespeare spy thrillers


“An impressive, heartfelt debut – a book about the power of stories to sustain us and drive us forward. It reminded me of Patrick Süskind’s Perfume, but with colours in place of scents…”

Aly Monroe, author of the Ellis Peters Historical Award winner ICELIGHT


“Jakob’s Colours reduced me to tears. I loved its hypnotic, rhapsodic quality and can’t shake it from my mind.”

Sarah Vaughan, author of THE ART OF BAKING BLIND


“Lindsay Hawdon’s writing is beautiful, her characterisation pitch perfect, her ability to terrify and sicken eclipsed only by her ability to make us smile … it is an important book, a story that is still very relevant seventy years after its setting; this is a book that demands an audience and I can guarantee that you will not come away disappointed.”

Reader Dad blog


Jakob's Colours review