A deeply affecting and unconventional love story, shot through with anger, black humour and grief.
One ordinary morning, Laurie's husband Mark vanishes, leaving behind his phone and wallet. For weeks, she tells no one, carrying on her job as a cleaner at the local university, visiting her tricky, dementia-suffering father and holing up in her tower-block flat with a bottle to hand. When she finally reports Mark as missing, the police are suspicious. Why did she take so long? Wasn't she worried?
It turns out there are many more mysteries in Laurie's account of events, though not just because she glosses over the facts. At the time, she couldn't explain much of her behaviour herself. But as she looks back on the ensuing wreckage - the friendships broken, the wild accusations she made, the one-night stand - she can see more clearly what lay behind it. And if it's not too late, she can see how she might repair the damage and, most of all, forgive herself.
Praise for Jenn Ashworth's last novel, FELL: 'A disturbing, precisely rendered tale of charisma, misplaced faith and transgenerational trauma, with a touch of the supernatural . . . [it] brings to mind the claustrophobic, suburban world of Dennis Potter's great play Brimstone and Treacle.' - Alex Clark, Spectator
Headily atmospheric and luminously written. Ashworth's narrative is packed with the pungent smells of the sea and decay . . . her pages are threaded with original, arresting images . . . not many writers could bind the supernatural and the literary with such lightness of touch - Sunday Times
Ashworth's gift for capturing the quirky ordinariness of life is as sharp here as it is in her previous novels . . . Dark, compelling, beautifully written, Fell adds another powerful story to the mythology of our strange hinterlands. - Guardian
A beautifully written book which cleverly blurs fantasy and realism. - Daily Mail
Despite the ethereal narrators, the book's triumph is in the corporeal, the ache of the mundane, the beauty of small things. The characters have a poetry of the ordinary - a brokenness reminiscent of Alan Bennett that makes them flesh and blood. - Irish Times
There's magic in this Lancashire-set novel . . . Atmospheric [and] empathic - Lady
This marvellous novel is both haunted and haunting, as Ashworth expertly blurs the boundaries between the past and the present, the homely and the uncanny, the quick and the dead. Touching on profound questions of myth, mortality and redemption, it is both sinister and beautiful - and ultimately tender.
Eerie and lyrical - prepare to be haunted by this innovative novel.
Jenn Ashworth was born in 1982 in Preston. She studied English at Cambridge and since then has gained an MA from Manchester University, trained as a librarian and run a prison library in Lancashire. She now lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Lancaster. Her first novel, A KIND OF INTIMACY, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. Her second, COLD LIGHT, was published by Sceptre in 2011 and she was chosen by BBC's The Culture Show as one of the twelve Best New British Novelists. Her most recent novels are THE FRIDAY GOSPELS and FELL. She lives in Lancaster.