An impassioned, intense, haunting family drama from the author of HAMNET and I AM, I AM, I AM
From the bestselling, critically acclaimed author of HAMNET and I AM, I AM, I AM, comes an intense, breathtakingly accomplished story of a woman's life stolen, and reclaimed.
'Unputdownable' Ali Smith Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done.
Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.
Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris's questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family's history?
Actually unputdownable, written with charge and energy and a kind of compelling drive, a clarity and a gripping dramatic insidiousness reminiscent of classic Daphne du Maurier - Ali Smith
O'Farrell's subtlety and delicate touch have never been so finely demonstrated - Independent on Sunday
Mesmerisingly good - Daily Mail
O'Farrell's story-telling skills ensure that this novel is compulsively readable, and delivers strong emotional punch - Telegraph
Maggie O'Farrell is the author of the Sunday Times no. 1 bestselling memoir I AM, I AM, I AM, and eight novels: AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award, and HAMNET. She lives in Edinburgh.