A riveting tale exploring the complex nature of damaging relationships.
A young couple abandon the urban jungle of London s East End for a remote, mountainous corner of Washington State. Chosen by Mick, who is half-American, the place seems as alien as the moon to Rita. But she soon adjusts to raising their small daughter, Frances, in a broken-down cabin without electricity or water, and revels in the untamed beauty of their surroundings. She's scared, though, of the wild animals howling and screeching outside by night. What she cannot admit is her fear of Mick s violent temper. Worse, perhaps, are her own flashes of anger at Frances, frightening losses of control which leave her feeling shaken and guilty. Then she meets Ryan, a redneck poacher who plants in her mind the seed of rebellion.
In this, her striking debut novel, Jill Dawson creates a subtle and compassionate portrait of a young mother struggling to protect her child and of a father destroyed by his own childhood.
Excellent a moving, beautifully written tale - The Times
The novel held me right to the end. I was constantly interested in Rita and her dilemma and held by the evocation of place - Margaret Forster
Taut with narrative tension and memorable for its superb descriptions of landscape and a multitude of deft touches that always seem just right. Above all, this is a genuinely romantic novel, a double love story of love that is raw and raunchy as well as romantic - The Times
A taut, compelling story that quells any easy theories about abusive relationships - Times Literary Supplement
A brave and necessary novel - Daily Telegraph
Explores a destructive relationship with vivid and compelling precision - Jane Rogers
I loved it. To carry such threat, such danger and at the same time produce a narrative which is such a joy to read is miraculous - E A Markham
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.