'He followed her eyes skyward to a bird that was falling, turning and turning, like a heart that had leapt free. It fell, and as it did it became a falcon. He was transfixed.'
Julian's fall begins the moment he sets eyes on Julia.
Julia is married and eight years his senior; he is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born.
When Julian hears that Firdaws, his boyhood home, is for sale he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives.
Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.
Cumulatively addictive: intriguing, cleverly structured, lyrical without pretension and thoroughly engrossing ... The book is hard to put down. I finished this story of loss, lies and flawed communication at two in the morning, desperate to know the truth. As a second novel, this really was worth the wait