'A rollicking and entrancing read, a dark and devastating funhouse ride through curtailed innocence and apocalyptic experience. And- most uniquely- a love letter to the waning magic and melancholy of British seaside towns. The final chapters petrified me! It is its own twist on the lucid dystopias of Diane Cook, Kirsten Roupenian and Emily St Jon Mandel. The book is also deeply cinematic- I was reminded, throughout, of Terry Gilliam's waterlogged neo-noir fantasy Tideland, as well as the dreamy realism of the films of Andrea Arnold and Lynne Ramsay.' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
“A writer of a new time… A writer we will all want to read again and again” Monique Roffey
“Dazzling and shattering" Nell Dunn
''You said that you would come back. You looked me in the eye and said that. Well, if you had, this is what you would have seen: soft wood, black cracks, fridges in the road. The broken spines of old rides at Dreamland.'
In the coastal resort of Margate, hotels lie empty and sun-faded ‘For Sale’ signs line the streets. The sea is higher – it’s higher everywhere – and those who can are moving inland. A young girl called Chance, however, is just arriving.
Chance’s family is one of many offered a cash grant to move out of London - and so she, her mother Jas and brother JD relocate to the seaside, just as the country edges towards vertiginous change.
In their new home, they find space and wide skies, a world away from the cramped bedsits they’ve lived in up until now. But challenges swiftly mount. JD’s business partner, Kole, has a violent, charismatic energy that whirlpools around him and threatens to draw in the whole family. And when Chance comes across Franky, a girl her age she has never seen before – well-spoken and wearing sunscreen – something catches in the air between them. Their fates are bound: a connection that is immediate, unshakeable, and, in a time when social divides have never cut sharper, dangerous.
Set in a future unsettlingly close to home, against a backdrop of soaring inequality and creeping political extremism, Rankin-Gee demonstrates, with cinematic pace and deep humanity, the enduring power of love and hope in a world spinning out of control.