Unsettled Ground

My fourth novel, Unsettled Ground, will be published in 2021 by Fig Tree / Penguin in the UK, as well as in the US (Tin House), Canada (House of Anansi), and France (Editions Stock).

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always known they are different. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation. The cottage they have rented for their whole lives is simultaneously their armour and their provider. Inside its walls they make music, in its garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need to survive. To an outsider it looks like poverty but, to them, it is home.

But when Dot dies unexpectedly, the twins are exposed to a truth that has far-reaching repercussions, and as members of the local community start to make things difficult for the twins, Jeanie wonders how they will cope in a world which can be cruel and unyielding.

 A portrait of rural poverty in the 21st Century, Unsettled Ground forces readers to see beyond the unsavoury, the unconventional, the ‘other’ and to recognise the thing that unites us all: the beating heart beneath. This is a story of resilience and hope, of homelessness and hardship, of love and survival, in which two marginalized but remarkable people take centre stage.


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