WINNER OF THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD 2021
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