The acclaimed author of The Ecliptic, Benjamin Wood writes a novel of exceptional force and beauty about the bond between fathers and sons, about the invention and reconciliation of self – weaving a haunting story of violence and love.
One August morning in 1995, the young Daniel and his estranged father Francis – a character of ‘two weathers’, of irresistible charm and roiling self-pity – set out on a road trip to the North that seems to represent a chance to salvage their relationship. But with every passing mile, the layers of Fran’s mendacity and desperation are exposed, pushing him to acts of violence that will define the rest of his son’s life.
About the Author
Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in the north-west of England. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of the highly acclaimed novels The Bellwether Revivals and The Ecliptic.
"With his third novel, Wood’s talent has burgeoned spectacularly. The book is a tremendous achievement, an unputdownable domestic thriller that is also subtle and moving... travelling well beyond his earlier fiction, Wood has produced a tour de force that marks his creative arrival." - David Grylls, Sunday Times
"A novel written from the gut, and with a correspondingly visceral power. A superbly unsettling account of trauma and cautious recovery." - Sarah Waters
"Elegant and disturbing... this is a novel of expertly woven tension and frightening glimpses into the mind of the deranged other." - John Burnside, Guardian
"It will grip you and stay with you... Fran is an expertly drawn troubled male... this is the heart of a beautifully constructed novel." - Shortlist
"[An] intelligent and gripping third novel... Mr Wood thoughtfully teases out the complicated psychology of this father-son relationship... powerful." - Country Life
"The third novel from an exciting English writer still in his 30s, this gut-churning tale of a doomed road-trip begins sweetly enough, before baring its fangs... a chilling study of male violence, framed by a horribly, almost unbearably, moving portrait of a dysfunctional father-son dynamic, it left me in bits." - Anthony Cummins, Daily Mail
"Tenderly dissecting the limits of love between parent and child while wriggling with a rich, thrilling tension, this palpably atmospheric story found its way beneath my skin and now lives there. Tell anyone who’ll listen, Benjamin Wood is one of the best novelists in Britain." - David Whitehouse
"A shocking account of extreme violence and its complicated after-effects. It is a vivid and unsettling novel filled with surprises and insights." - Ian McGuire
"A heart-breaking and heart-stopping new novel; a dark Northern noir that moves at breakneck speed but never fails to be tender and vulnerable as well as visceral and terrifying." - Andrew McMillan
"A novelist to watch." - The Times