Fiona McFarlane - The High Places - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444776737
    • Publication date:26 Jan 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444776744
    • Publication date:05 May 2016

The High Places

Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017

By Fiona McFarlane

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

Winner of The International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017: a scintillating story collection by the young Australian author of the Guardian First Book Award-shortlisted novel The Night Guest, described as 'glittering' (Independent), 'stunning' (Sunday Express), 'beautiful' (Daily Mail) and 'wonderfully devious' (Marie Claire).

Winner of the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017

'The judges recognised the mastery of form which is present in Fiona McFarlane's unforgettable collection of stunning short stories . . . highly varied in tone and brought the reader to characters, situations and places which were haunting in their oddity and moving in their human empathy.'
Chair of judges of International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017, Professor Dai Smith CBE


By the author of The Night Guest, a collection of fourteen scintillating short stories: surprising, wise, thought-provoking and superbly wrought. Ranging in setting from Australia to Greece, England to a Pacific island, they focus on people: their hopes, fears, dreams and disappointments, and their relationships - between ill-matched friends, daughters and mothers, fathers and sons, married couples and sisters. Some are eccentric, like the widower who believes his dead wife's mechanical parrot speaks to him, or the research scientist convinced that Charles Darwin visits him on his remote island; others delude themselves, like the mistress of a married man who thinks she's freer than her married sister. All are confronted with events that make them see themselves and their lives from a fresh perspective. It is what they do as a result that is as unpredictable as life itself.

Biographical Notes

Fiona McFarlane was born in Sydney, has a BA from Sydney University and a PhD from Cambridge University, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a Michener Fellow and won the university's prestigious Keene Prize for Literature in 2012. Her work has been published in the New Yorker, Zoetrope: All-Story, Southerly, The Missouri Review, and Best Australian Stories, and she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Australia Council for the Arts. Her debut novel, The Night Guest, was published by Sceptre in 2014.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444776713
  • Publication date: 05 May 2016
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: Sceptre
McFarlane has a gift for cutting into a story at precisely the right angle . . . Her writing is skilled; her point of view is unique. — Kate Saunders, The Times
Deliciously unsettling, [McFarlane's] characters act and react in unexpected ways, taking both reader and themselves by surprise. — Lucy Scholes, Observer
In her distinct and unusual voice - the disconcerting tone and dry humour are reminiscent of Margaret Atwood or Valerie Martin - McFarlane examines relationships with uncomfortable clarity and insight, observing the subtext of human behaviour while acknowledging a mysterious power behind the reality we think we know. — Imogen Lycett Green, Daily Mail
Like a fascinating box of brightly coloured, faintly surreal toys — Phil Baker, Sunday Times
A terrific collection . . . a baker's dozen of powerful stories — Jackie McGlone, The Herald (Glasgow)
While the stories in THE HIGH PLACES are imaginative, playful, and intellectually sophisticated, it is no overstatement to suggest that their power resides in the authority of McFarlane's style, not just in her ideas. McFarlane's sentences fizz with imagery . . . The resultant voice is difficult to parse - highly assured, comic but kind, an effervescent admixture of fable, magic realism, and irony . . . [a] remarkable collection. — Australian Book Review
Superb . . . It's not just that McFarlane's descriptions are beautiful prose, though they are. THE HIGH PLACES is more deliberate than that, and more intelligent. McFarlane strikes an emotional note on every page, whether it be humour or nostalgia or discomfort or joy . . . Nothing is forced and the reason I can't pick my favourite is that every one of the 13 stories is a winner. — The Saturday Paper
McFarlane has an intelligent and distinctive voice and she's a marvel at conjuring atmosphere. — Helen Elliott, Sydney Morning Herald
While lesser writers use similes to render descriptions more vivid, McFarlane's heighten aspects of her characters and advance her plots. — Christopher Benfey, The New York Times Book Review
McFarlane writes with a deceptively plain hand, and her style gives shape to the unanswered questions of how well we can ever know each other or ourselves . . . The writing is clever and skilful in spades — Kirkus Reviews
McFarlane has a knack for bringing out the macabre . . . and shows herself as an exceptionally fine writer of the ways coercion and care entangle us — Publishers Weekly
McFarlane has a gift for cutting into a story at precisely the right angle . . . Her writing is skilled; her point of view is unique.
Deliciously unsettling, [McFarlane's] characters act and react in unexpected ways, taking both reader and themselves by surprise.
In her distinct and unusual voice - the disconcerting tone and dry humour are reminiscent of Margaret Atwood or Valerie Martin - McFarlane examines relationships with uncomfortable clarity and insight, observing the subtext of human behaviour while acknowledging a mysterious power behind the reality we think we know.
Like a fascinating box of brightly coloured, faintly surreal toys
A terrific collection . . . a baker's dozen of powerful stories
While the stories in THE HIGH PLACES are imaginative, playful, and intellectually sophisticated, it is no overstatement to suggest that their power resides in the authority of McFarlane's style, not just in her ideas. McFarlane's sentences fizz with imagery . . . The resultant voice is difficult to parse - highly assured, comic but kind, an effervescent admixture of fable, magic realism, and irony . . . [a] remarkable collection.
Superb . . . It's not just that McFarlane's descriptions are beautiful prose, though they are. THE HIGH PLACES is more deliberate than that, and more intelligent. McFarlane strikes an emotional note on every page, whether it be humour or nostalgia or discomfort or joy . . . Nothing is forced and the reason I can't pick my favourite is that every one of the 13 stories is a winner.
McFarlane has an intelligent and distinctive voice and she's a marvel at conjuring atmosphere.
While lesser writers use similes to render descriptions more vivid, McFarlane's heighten aspects of her characters and advance her plots.
McFarlane writes with a deceptively plain hand, and her style gives shape to the unanswered questions of how well we can ever know each other or ourselves . . . The writing is clever and skilful in spades
McFarlane has a knack for bringing out the macabre . . . and shows herself as an exceptionally fine writer of the ways coercion and care entangle us
Two Roads

M for Mammy

Eleanor O’Reilly
Authors:
Eleanor O’Reilly

Meet the Augustts ... a loving, Irish family who, like all families, are a bit complicated. But they are bound together by their love for each other and their varying relationship with words. Things become more complicated when the mother has a stroke and loses her ability to talk, and the force of nature who is Granny Mae-Ann comes to take charge. She has a job on. Jacob, the son has all his words trapped in his head because of The Autism, the father struggles to express himself and Jenny, the daughter, is quietly writing it all down to try and make sense of it. M for Mammy is about language and love and home and the power of a family to heal itself. It is about telling stories, reading stories, and writing them down. This is a story about coming home, about finding language and about the truth of words. It is a story of the boy without words, about the mother who has lost words and the daughter who tries to speak for them all. And there is a granny who hammers and shapes words on the anvil of love and a father lost and full of stories he has to learn to tell.

Mulholland Books

Song of the Dead

Douglas Lindsay
Authors:
Douglas Lindsay

Hodder & Stoughton

Broken Things

Lauren Oliver
Authors:
Lauren Oliver

It's been five years since Mia and Brynn murdered Summer Marks, their best friend, in the woods.Increasingly obsessed with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn and by their fan-fiction imagining of its sequel, the girls were drawn by an undertow of fantasy into the magical world they'd created. But eventually, their delusions turned sick, and the Shadow, Lovelorn's central evil, began to haunt them.Or so the story goes. The only thing is: they didn't do it.Brynn and Mia have both found different ways to hide from their notoriety, seeking refuge from a world that hates them-a world that will never feel magical, or safe, ever again.On the anniversary of Summer's death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as past and present, fiction and reality, begin again to intertwine, Brynn and Mia must confront painful truths they tried for so long to bury-and face the long shadow of memory that has, all this time, been waiting.In this engrossing, twisty novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver weaves an unforgettable, mesmerizing tale of exquisite obsession, spoiled innocence, and impossible friendships.***PRAISE FOR LAUREN OLIVER'A tense psychological thriller with a devastating denouement' - Daily Mail on Vanishing Girls'Hugely moving and gorgeously written . . . an extremely clever and well-written novel that is ultimately uplifting' - Heat on Before I Fall'Creepier and sweeter than GONE GIRL' - MTV on Vanishing Girls'This brilliant thriller has a killer twist' - Fabulous on Vanishing Girls'Lauren Oliver is the rising star of young adult fiction' - The Sunday Times on Delirium

Hodder & Stoughton

Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults

Various
Authors:
Various
Sceptre

I Will Be Complete

Glen David Gold
Authors:
Glen David Gold
Hodder & Stoughton

The Perfect Couple

Elin Hilderbrand
Authors:
Elin Hilderbrand
Sceptre

City of Circles

Jess Richards
Authors:
Jess Richards

CITY OF CIRCLES is an entrancing love story between Danu and Morrie, two circus performers, and Danu's Lewis Carroll-esque odyssey through the magical city of Matryoshka, that ends with a heart-warming yet bittersweet twist. Danu is in mourning for her parents after a disease has ravaged the circus she calls home. She begins a high-wire act with Morrie, a charismatic hunchback who wants to marry her. But her mother has entrusted her with a mysterious locket that will lead her down a path Morrie cannot follow.When the circus visits Danu's birthplace, the magical city of Matryoshka, she goes in search of a stranger who may hold the answer to her past. And when the circus leaves, Danu stays behind. Will she and Morrie ever be reunited, or will something unexpected be waiting for her in the mysterious heart of the city of circles?'Her exploration of self and grief will resonate with many' Ros Barber, author of The Marlowe Papers

Two Roads

The Sealwoman's Gift

Sally Magnusson
Authors:
Sally Magnusson

A Zoe Ball ITV Book Club Pick'Sally Magnusson has taken an amazing true event and created a brilliant first novel. It's an epic journey in every sense: although it's historical, it's incredibly relevant to our world today. We had to pick it' Zoe Ball Book Club 'A remarkable feat of imagination ... I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent 'A powerful tale of Barbary pirates ... richly imagined.' Sunday Times'Engrossing' Sunday Express 'Fascinating ... a really, really good read' BBC R2 Book Club'The best sort of historical novel' Scotsman 'A lyrical tale' Stylist 'A poetic retelling of Icelandic history' Daily Mail 'Compelling stuff' Good Housekeeping'An extraordinarily immersive read ... examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom' Guardian1627. In a notorious historical event, pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 400 people into slavery in Algiers. Among them a pastor, his wife, and their children.In her acclaimed debut novel Sally Magnusson imagines what history does not record: the experience of Asta, the pastor's wife, as she faces her losses with the one thing left to her - the stories from home - and forges an ambiguous bond with the man who bought her.Uplifting, moving, and witty, The Sealwoman's Gift speaks across centuries and oceans about loss, love, resilience and redemption.Chosen for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and the ITV Zoe Ball Book Club.'Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life... An accomplished and intelligent novel' Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, author of Why Did You Lie?'Vivid and compelling' Adam Nichols, co-translator of The Travels of Reverend Ólafur Egilsson

Hodder Paperbacks

Should You Ask Me

Marianne Kavanagh
Authors:
Marianne Kavanagh
Hodder & Stoughton

How Do You Like Me Now?

Holly Bourne
Authors:
Holly Bourne

A Stylist Must-Read & a Red Magazine Best Book of 2018'It is so good! It is so honest about being a woman and all the things that are expected of us ... I enjoyed it very much.' MARIAN KEYES***'Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops, and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.'Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey? There's no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She's inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.But Tori Bailey has been living a lie. Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won't even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee - her plus one, the only person who understands the madness - falls in love, suddenly Tori's in terrifying danger of being left behind.When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.It's time for Tori to practise what she's preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving exploration of love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties.***'Truly a f***ing good novel' EVENING STANDARD'Relatable for any woman navigating emotional time bombs' RED'Bourne incinerates the lies we're all capable of telling ourselves in this raw and very funny book; it'll resonate with anyone trying to convince themselves that sticking it out is better than being alone.' EMERALD STREETWhat authors are saying about How Do You Like Me Now?:'Funny, real and heartbreaking. I haven't been this obsessed with a book in years.' Lucy Vine'Gave me all of the feelings ... this generation's Bridget Jones.' Carmel Harrington'Funny, sad, honest, insightful, up-to-the-minute. Kept me guessing (and hoping) to the last page' Roisin Meaney'Smart, witty and perceptive. Razor-sharp on friendship, self-image and self-deception' Lucy Diamond'Sublime, perfectly observed' Laura Jane WilliamsWhat reviewers are saying:'I f***king love this book. I was not expecting to feel so understood. I had to stop every page to fire off a quote to my best friend.' - Netgalley, 5 stars'This book is everything - I was hooked from page one.' - Netgalley, 5 stars'A laugh-out-loud read you will not want to put down... funny, relatable, honest and extremely addictive. 5***** 10/10' - Waterstones reviewer'I can't get over how much I loved and appreciated this book... I needed to read this so badly. Holly speaks for me completely. The late-twenties/thirty-something's Cat Person.' - Netgalley, 5 stars

Two Roads

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan

Loved Ruth Hogan's The Keeper of Lost Things? Keep on reading...'Warm and wise' Guardian 'A book to really love ... makes reading a joy' Stylist 'Will soften even the hardest of hearts' Red 'Subtle and poignant' Good Housekeeping 'Plenty of spirit and heart' Daily Mail 'An adorable heartfelt story.' PrimaMasha's life has stopped. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town's lido, where she seeks refuge underwater - safe from the noise and the pain.But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women - the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician's wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice - opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, the past comes roaring back ...Like her bestselling debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan's second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who guide us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that make life worth living.Praise for The Keeper of Lost Things, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick 2017Winner of the Richard & Judy Readers' Award 2017'A gem' Huffington Post'Exquisite' The Lady'Delightful' Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Hodder Paperbacks

The Family Next Door

Sally Hepworth
Authors:
Sally Hepworth

Sceptre

The End of Loneliness

Benedict Wells
Authors:
Benedict Wells

The international bestseller, translated by the award-winning translator of The Tobacconist, Charlotte Collins Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 'Original and captivating . . . its quiet charm in straightforward prose belies its sharp insight into the human condition' Stylist'It is impossible to look away from it' Guardian'Dazzling' John Irving***************I've known Death a long time but now Death knows me.When their idyllic childhood is shattered by the sudden death of their parents, siblings Marty, Liz and Jules are sent to a bleak state boarding school. Once there, the orphans' lives change tracks: Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules transforms from a vivacious child to a withdrawn teenager. The only one who can bring him out of his shell is his mysterious classmate Alva, who hides a dark past of her own, but despite their obvious love for one another, the two leave school on separate paths. Years later, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate - or chance - will once again alter the course of a life. Told through the fractured lives of the siblings, The End of Loneliness is a heartfelt, enriching novel about loss and loneliness, family and love.***************'This novel has been rightfully described as something of a masterpiece. One thing is for sure - it is not easily forgotten' Sunday Post'Beautifully rendered: moving and wise, occasionally timeless . . . when Wells most needs to be sophisticated, he is' Irish Times'A superbly insightful story' BookRiot

Sceptre

The Last of the Greenwoods

Clare Morrall
Authors:
Clare Morrall

In a field outside Bromsgrove, two elderly brothers live in adjoining railway carriages. No one visits and they never speak to each other. Until the day Zohra Dasgupta, a young postwoman, delivers an extraordinary letter - from a woman claiming to be the sister they thought had been murdered fifty years earlier. So begins an intriguing tale: is this woman an impostor? If she's not, what did happen all those years ago? And why are the brothers such recluses? Then there's Zohra. Once a bright, outgoing teenager, the only friend she will see from her schooldays is laidback Crispin, who has roped her in to the restoration of an old railway line on his father's land. For which, as it happens, they need some carriages . . . With wry humour and a cast of characters as delightful as they are damaged, Clare Morrall tells an engrossing story of past misdeeds and present reckoning, which shows that for all the wrong turnings we might take, sometimes it is possible to retrace our steps.

Two Roads

The Cactus

Sarah Haywood
Authors:
Sarah Haywood
Sceptre

Walking Wounded

Sheila Llewellyn
Authors:
Sheila Llewellyn

'An expertly imagined novel about war's long trail of damage, and about healing intentions gone savagely wrong.' Hilary Mantel'The atmosphere of the late forties is brilliantly evoked . . . a compassionate and compelling account of post traumatic stress in veterans of the Second World War while bringing individual patients and their psychiatrists vividly to life.' Pat BarkerSet in Northfield, an understaffed military psychiatric hospital immediately before the NHS is founded, Walking Wounded is the story of a doctor and his patient: David Reece, a young journalist-to be whose wartime experiences in Burma have come back to haunt him violently; and Daniel Carter, one of the senior psychiatrists, a man who is fighting his own battles as well as those of his patients.This moving and impressive debut explores violence and how much harm it does to those forced to inflict it in the name of war. It also captures the dilemmas of the medics themselves as they attempt to 'fix' their patients, each of whom raise the question of what has happened to their humanity, what can be done to help them, and what we are willing to sacrifice in the name of healing.

Two Roads

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

Jen Campbell
Authors:
Jen Campbell
Hodder & Stoughton

Cold Feet: The Lost Years

Carmel Harrington
Authors:
Carmel Harrington
Hodder & Stoughton

Gwendy's Button Box

Stephen King, Richard Chizmar
Authors:
Stephen King, Richard Chizmar
Hodder & Stoughton

Jericho's War

Gerald Seymour
Authors:
Gerald Seymour

'He now writes better endings than anyone else, and the extended finale is particularly brilliantly orchestrated.' The Sunday Times, Thriller of the MonthIn a moment of nerve shredding suspense that will affect many thousands of lives, a handful of men and women will converge on a barren stretch of Yemeni desert. Each of them will need spirit, courage and immense luck to survive the next forty-eight hours.Corrie Rankin is already a legend at MI6 when he is called back with little regard for the horrors of his recent past. Corrie is sent to take advantage of a chance to take down a high value player in the war against Al Qaeda - and, a chance for the Brits to succeed without begging help from the Americans.The sniper and his spotter who will go with Corrie are less than top team, but the best that can be found if the mission is to stay 'deniable'.And once the three misfits are in-country, they must rely on intelligence brought to them by a young British Jihadi - on the ground and close to the target - and now turned. And, close to him, is an archaeologist digging in the ruins of the Queen of Sheba' civilisation who will be their cut-out contact point.The mission is the brain-child of an apparently old, fat fool in a striped cricket blazer, a sweating figure of fun among the ex-pat community across the border in Muscat. This is Jericho ... not as old or fat or foolish as he appears, nor as harmless.This is Jericho's War. The weapons it deploys, the brutal aims it pursues, are state of the art. The fear it breeds and the raw bravery it demands are as timeless as the desert itself.