Keeping the House


An electrifying debut novel, at once a family saga and a tale of the London underworld.

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Shortlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize

Shortlisted for the 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize

Shortlisted for the 2022 British Book Awards, Book of the Year – Discover Award

Longlisted for the 2022 Gordon Burn Prize

Longlisted for the 2022 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize

Winner of a 2022 Somerset Maugham Award

Cabbages . . . The Turkish variety are prized for their enlarged leaf bud, that’s where we put the heroin . . .

There’s a stash of heroin waiting to be imported, and no one seems sure what to do with it . . . But Ayla’s a gardener, and she has a plan.

Offering a fresh and funny take on the machinery of the North London heroin trade, Keeping the House lifts the lid on a covert world thriving just beneath notice: not only in McDonald’s queues and men’s clubs, but in spotless living rooms and whispering kitchens. Spanning three generations, this is the story of the women who keep their family – and their family business – afloat, juggling everything from police surveillance to trickier questions of community, belonging and love.