By the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, a stunning historical novel - the tale of a traumatised soldier on a journey in search of peace, which turns into a nail-biting hunt to the death.
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free, by the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, is a stunning historical novel with the grip of a thriller, written in richly evocative, luminous prose.
'A writer of very rare and outstanding gifts' - Independent on Sunday
One rainswept winter's night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.
Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind. He will not - cannot - talk about the war or face the memory of what took place on the retreat to Corunna. After the command comes to return to his regiment, he lights out instead for the Hebrides, unaware that he has far worse to fear than being dragged back to the army: a vicious English corporal and a Spanish officer with secret orders are on his trail.
In luminous prose, Miller portrays a man shattered by what he has witnessed, on a journey that leads to unexpected friendships, even to love. But as the short northern summer reaches its zenith, the shadow of the enemy is creeping closer. Freedom, for John Lacroix, will come at a high price. Taut with suspense, this is an enthralling, deeply involving novel by one of Britain's most acclaimed writers.
'One of our most skilful chroniclers of the human heart and mind' - Sunday Times
Andrew Miller's novels have been published in translation in twenty countries. Born in Bristol in 1960, he has lived in Spain, Japan, France and Ireland, and currently lives in Somerset.
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free it's scary, mysterious and thoughtful - the world of Jane Austen bespattered by mud, atrocity and driving rain. — Andrew Marr, New Statesman, Books of the Year
I much enjoyed Now We Shall Be Entirely Free, in which Andrew Miller returned to more orthodox historical fiction after 2015's The Crossing and triumphantly proved there's plenty of life in the old form yet. — James Walton, Spectator, Books of the Year
Andrew Miller's Now We Shall be Entirely Free, a high grade cat-and-mouse manhunt that covers the length of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars - a sort of The 39 Steps with added malice - is pitch-perfect. — Michael Prodger, New Statesman, Books of the Year
There is only one Andrew Miller. In the 20 years since his debut novel Ingenious Pain won both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, he has written a series of books which have captured the imaginations of readers and critics alike . . . The plot grips and surprises. Miller's prose remains poetic and taut with an eye for the telling detail . . . he excels at creating characters who are defined, not limited, by a specific time and place, not just Lacroix, Calley and Medina but the minor players too. Historical or otherwise, this is fiction - storytelling - at its best.' — Andy Miller, Spectator
Miller recreates the past so vividly that reading the novel is never less than a fully immersive experience . . . particularly enjoyable and satisfying. — James Walton, The Times
Excellent ... a novel of delicately shifting moods, a pastoral comedy and passionate romance story alternating with a blackly menacing thriller. It is also a book of ideas: about male violence, the impact of war and the price of freedom. — Johanna Thomas-Corr, Observer
A profound exploration of culpability, written in prose that comes singing off the page . . . a compelling read and an important literary achievement. — Fiona Sampson, New Statesman
Enthralling . . . Miller paints a richly detailed portrait of a society in some ways familiar, in others impossibly strange — Suzi Feay, Financial Times
Both a ripping yarn and a skilful mediation on absence ... The pacing of his story is excellent; his style is crisp; his apprehension of pain is arresting; and his ability to show people trembling at the edge of unreason is compelling. — Andrew Motion, Guardian
In his luminous prose, Costa Prize winner Andrew Miller conjures three very different men, but their experiences have all been traumatising. Manhunt and pilgrimage, the tale unfolds into a gripping and, ultimately, surprising exploration of the inner battleground. — Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
Andrew Miller has a talent for unearthing unfamiliar aspects of history and spinning stories full of striking, but convincing characters. — The Times
The sort of novel I always long for and rarely find. Anything Andrew Miller writes, I will read, and Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is an absolute masterclass: observant, generous, beautiful prose, with a thrillingly plotted tale at its heart. Proof if any were needed that truly literary fiction can make for compulsive, suspenseful and joyous reading. — Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
Since the publication in 1997 of his first novel ... his books have revealed a powerful imagination at work, and one that is also rooted in the precisely yet poetically described realities of daily life. ... In his new novel, he succeeds in creating an involving, suspenseful drama and a moving portrait of a man in search of redemption from the violence of his past. — Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
Miller's beautiful sentences are a joy to read and his engrossing novel, teeming with vivid historical detail, is as suspenseful as any thriller. — Neil Armstrong, Mail on Sunday
The tension is so finely balanced between hunter and hunted that the alternating chapters ultimately form one beautifully integrated whole, whilst the historical setting is perfectly realised . . . a magnificent novel.' — Eilis O’Hanlon, Irish Independent
Andrew Miller can spin a ripping yarn with the skill and assurance of a master and the winner of the 2011 Costa Book of the Year for Pure is at the top of his game with Now We Shall Be Entirely Free . . . He fills his novel with vividly etched characters and has a way with words that delights, surprises and enthrals. There is never a dull sentence or commonplace description' — Allan Hunter, Sunday Express
A novel that would not feel out of place in the collected work of Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott or, indeed, alongside William Golding's To the Ends of the Earth trilogy. ...The joy of reading an Andrew Miller novel is his obvious passion for story and sensual language, and his ability to interweave the two seamlessly. The former is an often-forgotten art form in the contemporary novel, which often seeks to impress rather than entertain, but the latter is what makes him one of the most impressive novelists at work today. — John Boyne, Irish Times
Extraordinary; his writing seems to discover, or perhaps creates, additional dimensions to the world, and in the reader. — Sarah Hall
A beautifully observed historical thriller ... With writing that's elegiac and enthralling, this is a chase story with a wry edge and a romantic heart. — AnOther Magazine
This exceptional novel is hypnotically immersive, as though the reader has been genuinely transported to an era when time moved more slowly and life was more dense and extraordinarily vivid. — Jane Thynne, The Tablet
A gripping procession of thrills and spills. 4*. — Press Association
The picaresque pursuit subplot, dash of Romanticism and wind-swept love story . . . make this an enjoyably lavish 19th-century novel in both style and setting. — Lisa Allardice, Guardian
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is brilliant . . . The narrative is framed by beautiful writing and driven by guilt at what men are driven to in extremis. Spectacular. — Paul Connolly, Metro