The Golden Rule
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Longlisted for the Women’s Prize 2021
A Times, Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Mail and Financial Times Best Book of 2020 Pick
‘A highly enjoyable story about female resilience and finding fulfilment on your own terms’ Sunday Times
‘An irresistible summer read’ Guardian Book of the Day
‘A typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner’ Daily Mail
She’s such a skilful storyteller’ Bernardine Evaristo
When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider’s web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other’s husbands. After all, they are strangers on a train – who could possibly connect them?
But when Hannah goes to Jinni’s husband’s home the next night, she finds Stan, a huge, hairy, ugly drunk who has his own problems – not least the care of a half-ruined house and garden. He claims Jinni is a very different person to the one who has persuaded Hannah to commit a terrible crime. Who is telling the truth – and who is the real victim?
Praise for Amanda Craig
‘Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny’ India Knight
‘As satisfying a novel as I have read in years’ Sarah Perry
‘Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now working in Britain’ Alison Lurie
Evening reading that I looked forward to for days. Such a strong narrative, constantly taking you by surprise, persuasive setting . . . very much a novel of our times -- Penelope Lively If you like your novels wide-ranging, ambitious, socially panoramic, and engaged in the most important issues of the day, Amanda Craig is the writer for you. For more than twenty years now she has been anatomising the state of the British nation with wit and empathy We reckon this cracker of a novel about the "haves" and the "have-nots" will whip you into a page-turning frenzy * Sunday Post * Addictive . . . a wide-ranging, incisive portrait of contemporary Britain * Independent * a sharp satire, an intriguing mystery and a touching romance, but it is also a timely reminder of the importance of fairy tales, myths and legends - both those found in books and played on consoles - to our understanding of ourselves. Here's hoping that it brings Craig the acclaim she so richly deserves -- Sarah Hughes * The i * Such an interesting read! . . . A story of lies - and learning that people aren't always who they appear to be -- Nina Pottell * Prima * If there were any justice, the versatile Craig would be one of our most lauded novelists * The i * She's such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion Perceptive and wise, particularly on the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor * Independent * Craig is an acute and passionate observer of society in both town and country, and among rich and poor. She is harrowingly good at portraying the corrosive effects of poverty, particularly on vulnerable women with children to protect. Her prose is a delight . . . it's the power of story that gives this novel its depth: you do not need to dig far to find traces of Beauty and the Beast and Eros and Psyche, as well as the unsettling influence of Highsmith. Best of all, Craig has the knack of creating interesting characters and of making one care about what lies in store for them. If you can do that, nothing else really matters -- Andrew Taylor * Spectator * Clever and compelling, The Golden Rule is a modern mash-up of Rebecca and Strangers on a Train * Red * The Golden Rule does what her novels do best, wrapping the reader in a tight, lean narrative, showing the strangeness that lies at the heart of normal-seeming lives -- Alex Preston * Observer * Offering wit, compassion and philosophical stimulation . . . Craig is a state-of-the-nation writer, and there is plenty to chew on in her 10th book: here is a Britain divided along many lines, class, region and Brexit among them -- Hephzibah Anderson * Observer * Amanda Craig's ninth novel has all the elements of an irresistible summer read: a rollicking plot, a heroine who is more than a match for anything the author throws at her and meaty social issues * Guardian Book of the Day * A pacy state-of-the-nation drama that tackles issues from domestic abuse to workplace harassment, gentrification to the gig economy -- Madeleine Feeny * Mail on Sunday * Craig's The Golden Rule promises to be a typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner about two women who decide to murder each other's husbands -- Stephanie Cross * Daily Mail * The plot becomes so gripping - the sort of story where you want to pull the heroine out of the pages away from danger . . . What could be more fun than a book like this? -- John Self * The Times * Strangers on a Train meets #MeToo * Sunday Times * A highly enjoyable story about female resilience and finding fulfilment on your own terms, with a twist that is all the more compelling for its unexpectedness -- Mika Ross-Southall * Sunday Times *
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