Welcome to my website

You can read about me here

browse interviews here

explore my books here.

My latest books are

Daughters of the Labyrinth

a novel set on the island of Crete, now in paperback

Beethoven Variations

poems on the life and music of Beethoven, laced with my own experience in playing his music, with a prose mini-bio at the end.

‘An immersive novel, steeped in the history and folklore of Crete: transporting, historically informative story-telling.’
– Sunday Times

‘Entrancing – a wonderfully rich and absorbing novel. Like the best fiction, it tells a compelling story while deepening our understanding of the complexity of our nature. It is also delightful in its evocation of Crete and its many-layered history.’
– The Scotsman

‘Animated by keen imaginative empathy and a strong sense of place, this moving, satisfying, layered novel will transport you to the amethyst Aegean.’
– Daily Mail

‘A moving, superbly written exploration of a family with dark secrets. Crete itself becomes one of the main characters in the story.’
 Irish Times, Best Books 2021

‘A thought-provoking novel of identity, history and our times.’
– The New European

‘It is rare to come across literary fiction as satisfying as Daughters of the Labyrinth. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Authenticity seeps from every page.’
– Jewish Chronicle

‘A daughter’s passionate quest for the truth about what happened to her parents during the German occupation and a sumptuous and sensuous evocation of Crete itself, its landscape and culture.’
– Colm Tóibín

‘She winds us into coils within coils of a family’s history, horrific suffering and intimate sacrifice. She combines dramatic storytelling with moving reflectiveness, asking us to think again about whether it is better to remember or forget?’
– Marina Warner

‘I can’t recommend this highly enough. Beautiful, moving, exquisitely layered and compelling. I absolutely loved it.
– Christina Patterson

UK Edition

US Edition

Italian Edition

Beethoven Variations

‘Beethoven is more intimate than ever in these new poems: Ruth Padel tells the great composer’s life story, more profoundly than most biographies’
New York Times

‘Generous, painful, tender, gorgeously lyrical. With precision, heart-breaking beauty and lyric insight, Beethoven comes alive before us.’
Ilya Kaminsky

‘Poetry, biography, music and memoir collide in this wonderful collection. A lyrical journey through the composer’s life, an evocative portrait of the man and his music, and the profound ways it affects listeners and performers.’ 
Tatler, Best Books 2020.

‘Absolutely gorgeous poems, beautifully written. She has a marvellous way of surprising you with hindsight, atmosphere and context. An absolute masterpiece, I love it to pieces.’
– Jessica Duchen, Best Books on Beethoven

‘A fine distillation of his biography, beautifully written, factual but elegant, touching, and funny too.’
– Hudson Review

‘An approach to Beethoven by way of precisely figured emotion. Two lives drawn beneath the lens, the composer’s and her own, interacting in ways that can be bold and, finally, breathtaking. On the Eroica, she is spectacular. The composer is “fire-dust, gold-flight /winching upwards into pure light” as he drives “forward into a new-world dawn /thrilling with dissonance, calling up wild-steel angels.’
– Times Literary Supplement