Welcome to Glorious Tuga: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

With surprising and intricate stories, Tuga is truly glorious. The islander's lives are revealed in satisfying detail and the paths they take reflect the full range of being human. Settle in and sail away to a warm and vibrant corner of the world that you'll wish was real.

— Sheryce D.

I went into this book with one set of expectations and came away with a story that I did not know that I needed. The story of a woman running away towards an unknown past, a prodigal son coming home a different person than when he left, a small island trapped in the past and the future full of wholly fleshed out people with stories of their own, a vibrant interloper, and love in its many different forms. I am so excited to put this book into people's hands and let them experience Glorious Tuga!

— Rebecca G


A bighearted page-turner set on a remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean about love, community, and what it means to come home

Passionate about conservation and fleeing an argument with her mother, newly qualified London vet Charlotte Walker has taken up a fellowship on the tiny South Atlantic island of Tuga de Oro to study the endangered gold coin tortoises in the jungle interior. She can claim the best of reasons for this year in paradise—What better motivation than to save a species?—but the reality is more complex. For Charlotte has secretly come to believe that she has her own connection to this remote and eccentric community, and she is finally determined to solve the mystery that has dominated her life.

But she will have little time for any of her declared or covert investigations. She is inconveniently attracted to the new island doctor. And not only do Tuga’s tortoises need attention but so too do the island’s dogs, goats, and donkeys—not to mention the islanders themselves, determined to win Charlotte over with cake and homemade jam until she relents and becomes vet to all their animals.

A complete, vivid world unto itself, Welcome to Glorious Tuga is a bewitching combination of warmth and humor. Immersive and uplifting, it transports the reader to an island that time forgot, bringing to life a cast of flawed, loveable people, like a contemporary James Herriot beneath the coconut palms.

About the Author

Francesca Segal is an award-winning British American writer. She is the author of a memoir, Mother Ship, and the novels The Awkward Age and The Innocents, the latter of which won the Costa Book Award for First Novel, the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and the Sami Rohr Prize, and was long-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She lives in London with her family. 

Praise For…

Welcome to Glorious Tuga will draw you in and demand—with a warm smile—that you embrace island life and stay a while. Francesca Segal’s latest asks hard questions about what it means to belong, while charming with an irresistible cast of characters who are deliciously intertwined. A delight from start to finish!” — Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures

“Francesca Segal's fantastic and exuberant novel, Welcome to Glorious Tuga, asserts that ‘small islands are drama factories’ and in the case of this book, it's because of the unforgettable characters who populate this tropical setting. Told with such a potent mixture of tenderness and comedy, this is a story you can't forget, a world you won't want to leave.” — Kevin Wilson, author of Now Is Not the Time to Panic and Nothing to See Here 

Welcome to Glorious Tuga is a gorgeous book, an extraordinary cross between the work of Gerald Durrell and Jane Austen. It is full of characters that you haven’t met in fiction before, living their lives in a forgotten corner of the globe in which everything, right down to the fruit, has been brilliantly and thoroughly imagined. I didn’t want to go home.” — Nick Hornby

“Pure joy in book form, a hilarious, inviting holiday for the spirit.” — Naomi Alderman, author of The Future and The Power

"What a treat to spend time in glorious Tuga, where birds are protected and ice pops handed out to children, where donkeys are ridden like communal bicycles, and Charlotte struggles to shake off the dilemma she arrives with. Moving and funny, and fabulously imagined, I was with her through every twist and turn." — Esther Freud, author of I Couldn’t Love You More

“Sparkling and sophisticated, Welcome To Glorious Tuga is a rare joy. With a cast of complex characters who will restore your belief in humanity, and a tropical setting to escape into, Francesca Segal's novel reminded me of the pleasures to be had in reading. Profound and comic by turns, she has made us an offering of light, and I would recommend every reader take it.” — Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

"A magical novel, so uplifting, heartwarming, funny. . . I cannot TELL you how much I adored it! This feels as if it was written specifically to give comfort – the perfect antidote to current climes.” — Marian Keyes

"If you can imagine a modern-day Jane Austen washed up on a fictional island and combine her perspicacity with the joyousness of The Durrells and the charm of Alexander McCall Smith, you would get close to the wonder of Francesca Segal's new novel. But you wouldn't capture it completely because Segal has a style and wit all of her own. Welcome To Glorious Tuga is warm, clever, thoughtful, funny, moving and brilliantly written. I relished every page and can't wait to press it into everyone's hands." — Elizabeth Day, author of Magpie

“Slow down, grab a fizzy can and join ambitious herpetologist Charlotte Walker on lush and tropical Tuga, the most remote inhabited island in the world.  In this wry, lively, uplifting, sometimes perilous, often hilarious novel, Charlotte ultimately discovers just how far from home she must go to find herself. A pure delight." — Valerie Martin, author of I Give It to You and Trespass

“Segal lovingly develops her quirky ensemble cast…Everyone knows each other in this small community, and the character interactions here are delightful.” — Shelf Awareness

"In this perfect-for-summer page-turner, a London vet takes up a research position on a tiny South Atlantic island, studying the local tortoises. As she immerses herself in her new, quasi-paradisiacal home—one boasting welcome as well as super-nosy neighbors—elements of a familial mystery gently unfurl." — Boston Globe

"As secrets unfold and destinies intertwine with humor and warmth, Segal shows readers what it means to come home. . . . For fans of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small or anyone looking for an engrossing and heartwarming book to enjoy in one sitting.” — Library Journal

“Populated by a fully rendered, vibrant cast of characters, this warm, witty novel explores what it means to be part of a community. Highly recommended for fans of Amy Poeppel and Meg Mitchell Moore and of big-hearted novels about belonging.” — Booklist

"Stunningly well-written; full of great characters; warm and wise; twisty and dramatic, this is a novel I never wanted to end." — Daily Mail

"This vibrant tale about a zoologist who finds family in an eccentric island community is packed with heart, humor, and delightful characters. Like the end of a perfect beach day, it will leave you feeling content and already dreaming of a return." — Women’s Day

"Sharp, funny, and infused with perfectly judged romance and enchantment." — Mail on Sunday 

“As a reader, it’s hard to resist falling in love right alongside Charlotte…the primary joy of this delicious book is in getting to know the island’s peculiar characters, whom Segal treats with a gentle, quirky sort of amusement. A summery read packed tight with quirky characters and their ongoing foibles.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Here’s another fantasy for animal lovers: become the vet of an island paradise. That’s what happens when London vet Charlotte heads to the South Atlantic island of Tuga. She’s there to help look after and rescue rare tortoises but so many other animals need attention and the locals will poke and prod Charlotte into maybe having a peep at their goat with this problem and donkey with that problem and who wouldn’t provide care for a dog in need? It’s like James Herriott but with a lot more sunshine and fewer cows.” — Parade

“A perfect vacation book – even if you’re not going anywhere…With Welcome to Glorious Tuga, Segal has spun a pleasurable tale about the tantamount importance of finding – or creating – a sense of community and belonging, wherever you are. ”  — Christian Science Monitor

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063360457
ISBN-10: 0063360454
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English