What Red Was
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*An Observer Hottest-Tipped Debut Novelist of 2019 and Elle One To Watch*
‘A deeply necessary book, elegant and assured even as it burns at the centre with cool, clear-eyed rage’ Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
‘Kate Quaile,’ he said. ‘I like your name.’
Kate frowned. ‘How do you know my name?’
Throughout their four years at university, Kate and Max are inseparable. For him, she breaks her solitude; for her, he leaves his busy circles behind. But loving Max means knowing his family, the wealthy Rippons, all generosity, social ease and quiet repression. Theirs is not Kate’s world. At their London home, just after graduation, her life is shattered apart in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs.
What Red Was explores the effects of trauma on mind and body, the tyrannies of memory, the sacrifices involved in staying silent, the courage of a young woman in speaking out. And when Kate does, this question: whose story is it now?
‘I think this is the best debut fiction I’ve ever read… If you like David Nicholls, Tessa Hadley, Elizabeth Day, Meg Wolitzer, Donna Tartt…it’s exceptional’ Pandora Sykes The High Low
WHAT RED WAS is a gripping novel that shines an unflinching light on trauma and its prismatic impact. A deeply necessary book, elegant and assured even as it burns at the centre with cool, clear-eyed rage. * Sophie Mackintosh, author of THE WATER CURE * An incredibly nuanced exploration of the complexities of sexual violence, WHAT RED WAS heralds the arrival of a major new literary talent. This is an important book. * Louise O'Neill, author of ASKING FOR IT and ALMOST LOVE * Bringing together themes of survival, agency, complicity, self-denial and, ultimately, courage, this assured book is one of the most powerful debuts you'll ever read. * Stylist * Subversive and sophisticated... [Rosie Price's] exploration of sexual violence and class makes for an unforgettable read * Elle, **Books to Look Out for in 2019** * Moving, vivid, confronting and bold, What Red Was is an urgent story told beautifully * Dolly Alderton *
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