Unsettled Ground

Unsettled Ground : Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

4.18 (343 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Their rented cottage is simultaneously their armour against the world and their sanctuary. Inside its walls they make music, in its garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. At risk of losing everything, Jeanie and her brother must fight to survive in an increasingly dangerous world as their mother's secrets unfold, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. This is a thrilling novel of resilience and hope, of love and survival, that explores with dazzling emotional power how the truths closest to us are often hardest to see.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 29mm | 422g
  • Fig Tree
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241457440
  • 9780241457443
  • 26,690

Review quote

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 * Superb...deservedly longlisted for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction * Daily Mail * A gorgeously written celebration of the natural world as well as a moving portrait of a family struggling against time. This book is ultimately about redemption-about the unexpected importance of neighbors, lovers, and friends, and the ways in which we can re-envision our lives for the better, even after the unimaginable has occurred * Lucy Tan * An atmospheric thriller that's both heartbreaking and heartwarming * Red * So sharply, so utterly brilliant that I found myself holding my breath while reading it, dazzled by Fuller's mastery and precision. Not since Flaubert's A Simple Heart have I encountered a narrative that shows, with such clear and patient fury, how breathtaking vulnerability can come from poverty, pride, and helpless family love * Lauren Groff, author of 'Fates and Furies' * Fuller is excellent at description, and capturing the twins' awkward interactions with the world. The fate of the illiterate and weak-hearted Jeanie once she loses everything that is safe is particularly unsettling * Sunday Times * Unsettled Ground is another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book -- Laline Paull Tender, unusual... these memorable characters will work their way into your head and your heart * Good Housekeeping * Fuller's prose is darkly elegant, her eye for character astute and humane, and her sense of place vividly atmospheric -- here is a writer of great skill, sensitivity and subtlety -- Lucy Atkins, author of Magpie Lane Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy, in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society -- Clare Mackintosh, author of After the End Unsettled Ground shares with Fuller's previous works themes of closely guarded family secrets and homes built upon shaky foundations * Financial Times * Bewitching, otherworldly, full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller * Scotsman, on Bitter Orange * I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't reading a forgotten classic * Emma Healey on Bitter Orange * A story suffused with the poignancy of miscommunication between people who love each other, of the things we can never really know * Guardian on Swimming Lessons * Extraordinary, gripping. Fuller writes with a singing simplicity that finds beauty amid the terror * The Sunday Times on Our Endless Numbered Days * Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense * Sunday Times on Swimming Lessons * A gorgeously written celebration of the natural world as well as a moving portrait of a family struggling against time. Through buried secrets and private longings, the Seeders emerge as multi-layered characters living at the fringes of society. This book is ultimately about redemption-about the unexpected importance of neighbors, lovers, and friends, and the ways in which we can re-envision our lives for the better, even after the unimaginable has occurred * Lucy Tan *
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About Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn't start writing until she was forty. She has written three previous novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, Swimming Lessons, which was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award, and Bitter Orange. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband.
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Rating details

343 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 43% (146)
4 38% (131)
3 14% (48)
2 5% (17)
1 0% (1)
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