Publication Date: March 25, 2021
Publisher: Fig Tree
Hardcover: 330 Pages
Named a Best Book of the Month by Entertainment Weekly, PopSugar, Bustle, Chicago Review of Books, PureWow, a Best Book of Summer by Daily Beast and one of Good Housekeeping‘s 30 Best Books of 2021.
At fifty-one years old, twins Jeanie and Julius still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation in the English countryside. The cottage they have shared their entire lives is their only protection against the modernizing world around them. Inside its walls, they make music, and in its garden, they grow everything they need to survive. To an outsider, it looks like poverty; to them, it is home.
But when Dot dies unexpectedly, the world they’ve so carefully created begins to fall apart. The cottage they love, and the security it offered, is taken back by their landlord, exposing the twins to harsh truths and even harsher realities. Seeing a new future, Julius becomes torn between the loyalty he feels towards his sister and his desire for independence, while Jeanie struggles to find work and a home for them both. And just when it seems there might be a way forward, a series of startling secrets from their mother’s past come to the surface, forcing the twins to question who they are, and everything they know of their family’s history.
In Unsettled Ground, award-winning author Claire Fuller masterfully builds a tale of sacrifice and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized and remarkable people uncover long-held family secrets and, in their own way, repair, recover, and begin again.
About the author
Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England. She has written three novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize; Swimming Lessons; and Bitter Orange. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband.
Read more about Claire ON HER WEBSITE
“Wonderful. Unsettled Ground is a beautifully constructed book with interesting characters, and I’m convinced I won’t read a better one this year.”― Ron Rash, The Boston Globe“
“One mystery after another arises and two siblings who have been left behind by the modern world face changes both gentle and profound.”
― The Daily Beast
“Fuller explores the painful realities of poverty and social isolation with immense sensitivity in this multilayered and emotionally astute novel.”― The Guardian
“An intriguing premise made more so by the paucity of novels featuring vulnerable older adults.”― Financial Times
“If you’re a reader who lives for contemplative storytelling and perfectly wrought characters, this author is for you.”― BookPage
“A page-turner. . . . reflecting the humble beauty of country life in every page, Unsettled Ground will appeal to a wide array of readers.”
― Harvard Review
“An intriguing, moving novel that will make you question assumptions you have about modern life.”― Tracy Chevalier
“A gorgeously written and moving portrait of a family struggling against time.”― Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
“Another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book.”― Laline Paull, author of The Ice
“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
“Fuller has created a propulsive story that readers can’t help but get caught up in.”― Necessary Fiction
“Prepare for an experience of the English countryside that’s somewhat at odds with its typically idyllic depiction. . . . As the title suggests, at each turn there’s something new and unexpected.”