By the Orange Prize-shortlisted Jill Dawson, a thought-provoking tale of a man who has a heart transplant and finds his feelings - and capacity for love - seem mysteriously to have changed.
LONGLISTED FOR THE FOLIO PRIZE 2015
One heart, two lives... When a teenager dies in an accident in rural Cambridgeshire, it affords Patrick, a fifty-year-old professor, drinker and womaniser, the chance of a life-saving heart transplant. But as Patrick recovers, he has the odd feeling that his old life 'won't have him'. He becomes bewitched by the story of his heart, ever more curious about the boy who donated it, his ancestors, the Fenland he grew up in. What exactly has Patrick been given?
Immediately engrossing . . . Dawson navigates this half-mystical territory with a freshness and wit that belie a seasoned novelist's careful skill . . . It seems that the human heart, like the richly evoked Fens which the author knows so well, holds more secrets than we might think. - The Times
Dawson knows how to pluck the heartstrings too. The moment when Drew's mother listens to her dead son's heart beating in Patrick's chest is devastating . . . the flashback leading up to the hanging of one of Drew's forefathers is one of the highlights in a narrative that keeps you guessing. - Sunday Telegraph
[A] searching and gently philosophical novel poised on the edge of the darkness that surrounds a human life . . . Perhaps a better life has been swapped for a lesser life; but, as this moving and intriguing novel suggests, the final sum amounts to a lot more than zero. - Literary Review
An uncanny and atmospheric novel from a skilful storyteller. - Hilary Mantel
A tender and thoughtful novel which explores some fundamental questions about identity and the symbolism of the heart. - Daily Mail
Dawson . . . is an elegant but easy writer. She swiftly hooks the reader in with strong, convincing narrative voices, pacy dialogue, carefully crafted prose and an engagingly dramatic plot . . . A thought-provoking [book] about identity, relationships, fate and what we would change if given a second chance. - Sunday Express
Not since Graham Swift's Waterland has anyone written as passionately about history, education, love and belonging in the Fen region of England. A beautifully crafted novel by an outstanding writer who gracefully enters the heart and soul of all her characters. - Caryl Phillips
Jill Dawson is the author of the novels Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Crime Writer, which won the East Anglian Book of the Year. An award-winning poet, she has also edited several poetry and short story anthologies.
Jill Dawson has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 she founded a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens.