When devastating news shatters the life of six-year-old Harvey, she finds herself in the care of a veteran social worker and alone in the world save for one relative she has never met – a disabled ex-con, haunted by a violent past he can’t escape. Moving between past and present, and written in a wonderful raw, spare prose, this novel is the journey of two people searching for a future in the ruins of their past.
Simon Van Booy was born in London and grew up in rural Wales and the suburbs of London. He is the author of three novels and two collections of short stories, including The Illusion of Separateness, The Secret Lives of People in Love, and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award in 2009. He lives in New York.
‘A captivating story about family, belonging and home’.
– New Books
‘Van Booy charms us with the struggles of this unlikely father-figure’.
– Sunday Herald
'The novel is almost heartbreaking in its expression of the hunger to love and be loved'
– Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist
‘The moving account of a unique relationship between a parent and child, thrust together under the worst of circumstances. With fine, nuanced prose and much tenderness, Booy guides this unlikely father-daughter pair into a beautiful maturity, showing us with great heart what it really means to be a family’
– Elizabeth Crane, author of The History of Great Things
‘Deftly portrays his characters’ raw emotions’
– Wall Street Journal
‘Van Booy writes with muted unsentimental elegance about the impulses that bind us together’
– The Times
‘Tells his stories without affectation, but ever so effectively as a stylist and a devout humanist’
– Portland Press Herald
‘The uncanny beauty of Van Booy's prose, and his ability to knife straight to the depths of a character's heart, fill a reader with wonder’
– San Francisco Chronicle
‘This is a truly special writer who does things with abstract language that are so evocative and original, your breath literally catches in your chest’
– Andre Dubus III
‘From minimalistic sentences he wrings out maximum impact, stripping away artifice and elaboration in favor of stark, emotional clarity and honesty’
– Boston Globe
‘Van Booy writes like Hemingway but with more heart’
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