When Mona Gray is ten, her father contracts a mysterious illness. His gradual withdrawal from everyday life marks a similar change in Mona, who removes herself from anything - or anyone - that might bring her happiness. Numbers provide a kind of solace, and help her make sense of the world: she counts words in her head, adds her steps, and multiplies people in the park against one another. As a maths teacher, Mona delights her pupils by encouraging them to find objects that take the form of numbers. But when seven-year-old Lisa appears with a zero that displays real turmoil, Mona knows that in order to help a person in pain, she needs to find a way to connect with the world she has been afraid of for so long.
An Invisible Sign of My Own is a story about children and adults, and how we protect ourselves from the things we fear the most. It is about superstition and logic and the big muddy area in between. Written with the same eloquence and flair that characterisesThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, this novel marks the sign of a unique talent in contemporary fiction.
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" Intelligent and engaging ... [A] fanciful and original take on the quietly helter-skelter world that lies within" ( The New York Times)
"An achingly idiosyncratic story rendered with eloquence, hilarity, and ominous precision" ( Boston Globe)
"Light as a zephyr and unique as a snowflake" ( The Washington Post)
" Fantastic! Bender has a perfect pitch. Her stories are fierce and true" ( LA Times)
"Clever, original and written with brio and eloquence... Bender writes like an angel, with images that strike resonant chords, and her sly humour pervades every page." ( Publishers Weekly)
From the author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, the story of one woman's attempt to prove that life really does count....
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