A 2023 best book to look forward to in Vogue, Bustle, GQ and the New Statesman
‘A superbly observed exploration of intimacy and its failings’ Megan Nolan
‘West-Knights is a masterful, hilarious and humane story-teller’ Olivia Sudjic
‘A sharp and clear-eyed portrait of familial love and the ways it makes us mad’ Monica Heisey
Billie and Tom have just lost their father. It should be a time to comfort each other, but there’s always been a distance to their relationship. Determined to change this, Billie boards a flight to her brother in Paris.
Dazed by grief, the siblings spend days wandering the streets, both helping and hurting each other in the process. When their explorations lead them to the infamous Paris catacombs, they will finally be forced to face the secrets lurking in their past that illuminate the questions in their present.
Funny, moving and unexpected, DEEP DOWN is an empathetic and hard-hitting look at both the struggles and the joys of sibling relationships, and the realities of grieving the loss of someone who was already an absence.
DEEP DOWN is a beautifully constructed and unnervingly assured debut which deeply moved and impressed me. Imogen West Knights reveals family silence and repression in a way which feels almost agonisingly true to life. There are no histrionics here, nor any glib resolutions, but a superbly observed exploration of intimacy and its failings. Not to be missed -- Megan Nolan I am in awe of this genius debut novel. A brilliant page-turner - I also wanted to pause every few paragraphs and read aloud as a treat for whoever happened to be sitting next to me. West-Knights is a masterful, hilarious and humane story-teller. -- Olivia Sudjic I read Deep Down in one go, staying up late to finish it. West-Knights takes the tradition of the British family novel - with all its resentment, over-drinking and passive aggression - and transcends it: Deep Down is funny, sad, tender and hopeful. A fantastic book As a longtime fan of Imogen West-Knight's writing, I was thrilled to discover her fiction is just as charming: a sharp and clear-eyed portrait of familial love and the ways it makes us mad -- Monica Heisey, author of REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY A dry comedy that's as astute as her reported writing - and funny too * Vogue * This perceptive account of the undercurrents that shape our family relationships and the ways in which they play out in adulthood had me gripped. A tender, moving novel with heart, by a new talent in fiction -- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett Deep Down is a nuanced and sensitive study of family and abuse, of the unbridgeable gulfs in communication that render us inert and helpless, of the truths we can't bear to confront, and the loyalties we can't bear to betray -- Susannah Dickey A sensitive look at grief, families, ambition, anger and the complexity of loving and hating someone all at once. * Bookseller * An intimate, emotional and witty take on grief and complicated relationships -- Justin Myers Deep Down examines that which we would rather suppress - grief, shame, hurt - with unflinching verve while treading a careful line between finding the absurd in the humane, and the humane in the absurd. West-Knights has written a book with real heart -- Jo Hamya Imogen handles complicated family dynamics and the unspoken things that come between us with remarkable sensitivity and insight, as well as perfect dark humour that is so much a part of navigating grief. I honestly can't believe this is a debut -- Emma Hughes A lot of novels spin around grief, trauma, abuse and emotional disconnection. But not many can emotionally sucker punch you with one sentence and have you in tears of laughter the next. One of the remarkable things about Deep Down is how finely attuned it is to the way grief is intimately tangled up with ridiculousness. -- Eloise Hendy * Dazed * I read Deep Down in one go, staying up late to finish it. West-Knights takes the tradition of the British family novel - with all its resentment, over-drinking and passive aggression - and transcends it: Deep Down is funny, sad, tender and hopeful. A fantastic book. * Yara Rodrigues Fowler *
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