SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE 2021
‘Her strongest yet… a powerful, beautiful novel that shows us our land as it really is: a place of shelter and cruelty, innocence and experience’ THE TIMES
When you live on the edge of society, it only takes one step to fall between the cracks
Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.
But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.
Unsettled Ground is a powerful novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness.
‘The way she writes (with empathy but never sentimentality) moves my heart’ ELIZABETH DAY, author of Magpie
‘A relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society’ CLARE MACKINTOSH, author of Hostage
‘An atmospheric thriller that’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming’ RED
Her strongest yet... a powerful, beautiful novel that shows us our land as it really is: a place of shelter and cruelty, innocence and experience * The Times * Dark, brilliantly observed and ultimately a tale of love winning the day. * The Sunday Telegraph * An intriguing, moving novel that will make you question assumptions you have about modern life * Tracy Chevalier, author of 'A Single Thread' * Superb...deservedly longlisted for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction * Daily Mail * So sharply, so utterly brilliant that I found myself holding my breath while reading it, dazzled by Fuller's mastery and precision. * Lauren Groff, author of 'Fates and Furies' * With sensitivity and intelligence, Fuller unpicks the relentless complexity of the modern world * The Guardian * Fuller is excellent at description, and capturing the twins' awkward interactions with the world. The fate of the illiterate and weak-hearted Jeanie once she loses everything that is safe is particularly unsettling * The Sunday Times * It's merciless in its observation of casual cruelty and merciful in its observation of casual kindness and family love * Richard Curtis * Unsettled Ground is another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book -- Laline Paull These memorable characters will worm their way into your head and heart and the descriptions of the landscape are beautiful. * Jo Finney, Good Housekeeping * An atmospheric thriller that's both heartbreaking and heartwarming * Red * Tender, unusual... these memorable characters will work their way into your head and your heart * Good Housekeeping * Fuller's prose is darkly elegant, her eye for character astute and humane, and her sense of place vividly atmospheric -- here is a writer of great skill, sensitivity and subtlety -- Lucy Atkins, author of Magpie Lane Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy, in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society -- Clare Mackintosh, author of Hostage Unsettled Ground shares with Fuller's previous works themes of closely guarded family secrets and homes built upon shaky foundations * Financial Times *
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