Larchfield: The moving, gripping and wonderful debut about finding human connection

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9781786481955: Larchfield: The moving, gripping and wonderful debut about finding human connection
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'Mysterious, wondrous, captivating' Louis de Bernieres 'We need the courage to choose ourselves' W. H. Auden It's early summer when a young poet, Dora Fielding, moves to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland and her hopes are first challenged. Newly married, pregnant, she's excited by the prospect of a life that combines family and creativity. She thinks she knows what being a person, a wife, a mother, means. She is soon shown that she is wrong. As the battle begins for her very sense of self, Dora comes to find the realities of small town life suffocating, and, eventually, terrifying; until she finds a way to escape reality altogether. Another poet, she discovers, lived in Helensburgh once. Wystan H. Auden, brilliant and awkward at 24, with his first book of poetry published, should be embarking on success and society in London. Instead, in 1930, fleeing a broken engagement, he takes a teaching post at Larchfield School for boys where he is mocked for his Englishness and suspected - rightly - of homosexuality. Yet in this repressed limbo Wystan will fall in love for the first time, even as he fights his deepest fears. The need for human connection compels these two vulnerable outsiders to find each other and make a reality of their own that will save them both. Echoing the depths of Possession, the elegance of The Stranger's Child and the ingenuity of Longbourn, Larchfield is a beautiful and haunting novel about heroism - the unusual bravery that allows unusual people to go on living; to transcend banality and suffering with the power of their imagination.

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Review:

Magical and transcendent . . . I suspect that few debuts in 2017 will match the elegance of Larchfield. This is a beautiful novel: passionate, lyrical and surprising. I will remember Larchfield for a long time. (John Boyne Irish Times)

This is a mysterious, wondrous, captivating book (Louis de Bernieres)

Larchfield is that rarest of rare first novels - a book that actually achieves its great ambition. I found it so immensely readable; it's brainy, verbally acute and knowing, with an ingenious literary historical premise that it impressively (and artfully) carries off right in front of your eyes. It's work of considerable talent (Richard Ford)

A magnificent book - haunting and beautifully written (Alexander McCall Smith Good Housekeeping)

For anyone who knows what it feels like to move to a new place and feel lonely, or feel like an outsider, this book will speak to you (Rachel Revesz Independent)

A book one doesn't want to put down (Daily Mail)

Stunning . . . I was lost in this moving and gripping study of isolation (Fanny Blake Woman and Home)

An atmospheric, haunting time-slip novel about a new mother struggling to survive in a claustrophobic town where poet WH Auden lived (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Times, S Magazine)

Elegant . . . Clark has written a measured and graceful novel; this is particularly true of the way she handles Dora's gradual unravelling. (Natasha Tripney Observer)

That Polly Clark is a poet is never in doubt throughout this imaginative novel, written with poetic force . . . This is a beautifully constructed novel with a wealth of detail and characterisation. Moving and wonderful. (Daily Express)

Book Description:

Winner of the MsLexia Prize, a beautiful novel about a woman's struggle with isolation and sanity woven with the story of the poet W. H. Auden

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781786481924: Larchfield: The moving, gripping and wonderful debut about finding human connection

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1786481928 ISBN 13:  9781786481924
Publisher: riverrun, 2017
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9781786481931: Larchfield: The moving, gripping and wonderful debut about finding human connection

riverrun, 2017
Softcover

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