The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway

Ashley Schumacher

St. Martin's, 2023

Agent: Thao Le

Dumplin' meets Well Met in this novel about finding your place in the world, learning love is a risk worth taking, and discovering what happens when you take your fate into your own hands.

Since her mother’s death, Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway has been determined that nothing in her life will change ever again. That’s why she keeps extensive lists in journals, has had only one friend since childhood, and looks forward to the monotony of working the ren faire circuit with her father. Until she arrives at her mother’s favorite end-of-tour stop to find the faire is under new management and completely changed.

Meeting Arthur, the son of the new owners and an actual lute-playing bard, messes up Maddie’s plans even more. For some reason, he wants to be her friend - and ropes her into becoming Princess of the Faire. Now Maddie is overseeing a faire dramatically changed from what her mother loved and going on road trips vastly different from the routine she used to rely on. Worst of all, she’s kind of having fun.

Ashley Schumacher's The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway is filled with a wise old magician who sells potion bottles, gallant knights who are afraid of horses and ride camels instead, kings with a fondness for theatrics, a lazy river castle moat with inflatable crocodile floaties, and a plus-sized heroine with a wide open heart... if only she just admits it.


"A welcome modern coming-of-age story about unfolding, letting go, and growing up. ... Readers will welcome this story about a leading lady who doesn’t have to be skinny to love herself or to be loved.  A skillfully written and appealing romance with a powerful and refreshing message." - Kirkus Reviews

"Ashley Schumacher's latest novel is a delightful read, with diverse characters and an irresistible setting. The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway proves that there's no better place to find yourself than at a Renaissance Faire." - Jen Deluca, author of Well Met

"Set in one of my favorite places in the world — a Renaissance Faire full of jousts, royalty, bards, and castles— this is a wise, beautiful, funny book with tremendous heart. I absolutely loved it." - Jamie Pacton, author of The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly and Lucky Girl

"Schumacher's inventive premises and emotional explorations of first love will definitely keep me coming back for more." -NPR