Drawing on a brilliant literary tradition of madness, incarceration and escape, Jonathan Kemp delivers a Mrs Dalloway for the modern age – and the triumphant coming-of-age of a woman in her sixties.
Read an extract
When Grace Wellbeck thinks she sees the ghost of her first husband, she fears for her sanity and worries that she’s having another breakdown. Long-buried memories come back thick and fast: from the fairground thrills of 1950s Blackpool to the dark reality of a violent marriage.
But the ghost turns out to be very real: a charismatic young man named Luke. And as Grace gets to know him she is jolted into an emotional awakening that brings her to a momentous decision.
Jonathan Kemp is also the author of London Triptych (Myriad, 2010) and Twentysix (Myriad, 2011).
Emmanuelle de Maupassant29 March 2015
I defy your heart not to ache for Grace and, in reading of her grief, to ache for yourself, for we are all haunted by the past, and by the transience of this life... Kemp leads us through the female mind with insight, dark humour picking its way through dark themes… Some stories are told to enlighten us, to shine a small flame in the darkness of our haphazard ramblings, to show us the way. Kemp’s story is one such, urging us to recognise the pain we carry with us and to set it free.
The Bookbag27 March 2015
I was unable to stop thinking about this book and its characters for days afterwards… Grace is an incredibly vivid character – drawn well and with truth… she is flawed, yes - but real and empathetic... Grace goes on a journey – through different age groups, different cultures, and both her past and her future. Thanks to what a great character she is, and also thanks to the wonderful, skilful and tender writing of Jonathan Kemp, it is a complete pleasure for the reader to accompany her.