Ant Colony
Jenny Valentine, Read by Garreth Cassidy and Helen Longworth

Book cover image

Narrated By: Garreth Cassidy, Helen Longworth

Duration: 4 hours and 22 minutes

What to expect

An irresistible new novel from Guardian-award-winning novelist, Jenny Valentine.

Number 33 Georgiana Street houses many people and yet seems home to none. To runaway Sam it is a place to disappear. To Bohemia, it's just another blip between crises, as her mum ricochets off the latest boyfriend. Old Isobel acts like she owns the place, even though it actually belongs to Steve in the basement, who is always looking to squeeze in yet another tenant. Life there is a kind of ordered chaos. Like ants, they scurry about their business, crossing paths, following their own tracks, no questions asked.

But it doesn't take much to upset the balance. Dig deep enough and you'll find that everyone has something to hide…


Children's / Teenage: Crime & mystery fiction, Children's / Teenage: Family & home stories

Listen to a sample

Praise for Jenny Valentine:

‘Valentine has the essential storyteller's gift of making you want to read on - and to know more even after the book is finished.’ Guardian

‘The award-winning Valentine has a keen eye for the idiosyncrasies of young children, and the rhythms of family life.’ The Bookseller

Praise for The Ant Colony:

‘[Valentine] has a magical narrative voice that instantly engages … Valentine writes so beautifully and so convincingly that you're instantly swept in the mystery of these people's lives.’ Amanda Craig, The Times

‘Valentine's observation and language is both unexpected and refreshing.’ Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times Culture

‘[Valentine] has produced a story that is both witty and entertaining … charmingly written.’ Daily Telegraph

‘This is a fine piece of slice-of-life fiction, warm but not cosy, neatly structured and credible.’ FT Weekend

‘A moving narrative of belonging, love and redemption.’ School Librarian

‘The Ant Colony… has a very raw emotional honesty about it that is tempered past heartbreak by a vivid imagination and wonderful sense of humour. [It's] completely gorgeous, utterly charming, funny, sweet, sad, and underneath it all, very, very real.’ The Bookbag

‘Expertly plotted and continually gripping, it is hard to remember that this is only Jenny Valentine's third novel … an excellent and heartening read.’ Books for Keeps

‘Intriguing.’ Mizz

‘A clever and well-paced plot.’ The Ultimate Book Guide

‘Once again the author has created believable characters with integrity and skill. They come complete with flaws, hopes and fears and effectively convey a whole range of emotions.’ Carousel