A seductive, dark tale of a family uncovering the secrets of the past from the author of the acclaimed ERSKINE'S BOX.
Charting the destruction and ultimate resurrection of a family, an anonymous 'Father-Confessor' figure relays the 'confessions' of the Goode family: Phineas (a one-time bookshop owner) and Maggie (an artist), their daughters Gwynne and Viviane, and Allie Finlay, Phineas' ex-mistress... along with the sixth tale - of the dead Dr Jabz Reemie, etymologist and former mentor to Phineas, whose own part in the story is gradually revealed.
As the stories interweave, they continually present a reinterpretation of each character's relative burden of guilt. Who is really guilty and what are they guilty of It is Dr Reemie's tale, along with Viviane's recovered childhood memories, that ultimately reveal the dark secrets of Castle Keep, the family home: shocking truths with which the Goodes come to terms, eventually emerging strengthened and reconciled.
PRAISE FOR ERSKINE'S BOX:
Startlingly lovely prose ... It's faultless ... Lloyd carries it off by that simplest of expedients - being brilliant. - Murrough O'Brien, Independent on Sunday
Deliciously macabre - Arena
Lloyd is a lapdancer of a writer ... damn nasty, and all the better for that - The Face
This story of unrequited love and artistic failure evolves into a stylish, yet believable tale of gothic horror. The skill of Lloyd's writing makes it a real page-turner, a truly promising debut. - Daily Mail
This assured debut novel teases and delights in equal measure ... the ambiguity of everything Erskine relates keeps the reader hooked to his revelations up to the last page. - Waterstone's Books Quarterly
Lloyd has created a compellingly enigmatic monster, one fit to sit alongside other great literary ghouls like John Fowles' Frederick in The Collector and William Trevor's Mr Hilditch in Felicia's Journey ... the slow and teasing way in which Erskine's revelations unfurl is expertly handled by Lloyd, making the tale utterly compelling. This is a spellbinding book which will work its (black) magic on you and keep you up long past your bedtime. - Big Issue in the North
An extraordinary first novel - Time Out
Kym Lloyd was born and grew up in Swansea. As a schoolchild she won a WHSmith Young Writers Prize and, after gaining a degree in French and working for a publisher in Oxford, chose to concentrate on her writing. While supporting herself in a variety of jobs from cleaning to van driving, she succeeded in getting short stories and poems published in several magazines. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and twin daughters.