The Weight of Loss
‘Daring, unsettling and original, The Weight of Loss is a debut to savour.’ Victoria Gosling, author of Before the Ruins
It starts with a single black hair, growing thick and immovable from her spine.
Marianne is grieving. Desperately trying to hold down some semblance of a normal life, she forces herself to go through the motions: cooking dinner with her boyfriend, showing up to work, calling her parents when she feels able to handle their reminders of all she has lost. And then, her body begins to betray her.
When no one can explain what is going on, Marianne’s doctor directs her to Nede, an experimental health retreat deep in the Welsh countryside. By the time Marianne starts to suspect that all is not as it seems at Nede, it’s already too late.
Dark and incendiary, The Weight of Loss is a moving novel about grief and resilience, full of surprising twists.
'It's hard to believe The Weight of Loss by Sally Oliver is a debut novel because the writing and pacing are so confident and assured. Compulsive and deeply unsettling. Don't start it if you have stuff to do!' -- Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures 'I love Sally Oliver's writing... I found the whole thing addictive.' -- Helen Fisher, author of Space Hopper 'Daring, unsettling and original, The Weight of Loss is a debut to savour. Sally Oliver writes with startling intensity.' -- Victoria Gosling, author of Before the Ruins 'The Weight of Loss is a wrenching, viscerally weird novel of grief, longing and mortality. Perceptive, erudite and powerful, I haven't been able to stop thinking about how much I loved it!' -- Leon Craig, author of Parallel Hells 'Intelligent, addictive, and unsettling. Sally Oliver is a thoughtful, gorgeous writer, and this layered exploration of trauma, family, and selfhood will linger.' -- Julia Fine, author of What Should Be Wild 'A deeply unsettling story, told at a brilliantly controlled pace and rendered in luminous prose. It's like the love child of early Ian McEwan and Nicola Barker.' -- Ali Millar, author of The Last Days 'An affecting portrait of a young life shaped by grief, set against an unnerving, surreal medical backdrop, somewhere between My Year of Rest and Relaxation and A Cure for Wellness... A remarkable, thought-provoking, vivid book.' -- Will Wiles, author of Plume 'The Weight of Loss is a beautifully written and intensely felt novel. Its subject matter - grief and mortality - is timeless, but its method, a startling combination of emotional realism and gothic horror, feels brand new.' -- Ian McGuire, author of The Abstainer 'Strangely ethereal, yet entirely solid and compelling, this is a unique novel that talks with startling clarity and composure about the in-between spaces, the possibilities of being, and the connection between the living and the dead.' -- Alice Ash, author of Paradise Block 'A...reflective but ultimately engrossing thriller with a strong emotional core.' * Bookbag * 'The Weight of Loss ripples with visceral language that conceals an ominous underbelly, ever threatening to burst free... Oliver's prose is quite captivating. She writes with a poetic precision, deftly balancing sections with words charged with sexual and fatalistic tension in equal parts.' -- Chicago Review of Books 'Gripping, gory and addictive... An exploration of grief and trauma in a weird health retreat where all is not as it seems.' -- Amanda Craig, author of The Golden Rule 'I started reading The Weight of Loss without knowing what to expect. And I was delighted to be gripped from the very first page - a very curious and compelling opening scene - and I finished the novel in 3 days. It is addictive reading, carrying the reader along through a clever narrative structure and raising many intriguing questions. The last fifty pages are intense and I was swept along by the strangeness of the story. But it is both strange and somehow very real at the same time: I've never read anything quite like it. Beautiful!' -- Lucy Ashe, author of Clara & Olivia
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