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‘Here is what we know, those of us who can speak to tell a story: On the afternoon of October 21st, my wife, Lexy Ransome, climbed to the top of the apple tree in our back yard and fell to her death. There were no witnesses, save our dog Lorelei . . .’

So begins this remarkable, unputdownable debut about a man faced with the sudden and inexplicable loss of the love of his life. Convinced that Lexy’s death was not an accident, and driven by a desire to discover what really happened that October afternoon, Paul decides to embark on the only course of action he can possibly imagine. What follows is a luminous account of an extraordinary, magical love affair, and its aftermath. This is the story of a passionate woman and her irrepressible dreams; of a man who does not know how to begin to live without her; of an animal’s loyalty and devotion, and of the desperate search for answers that leads them all to places they never expected to go.


Inventive and gripping ... Parkhurst handles the quest formula with originality and humour
Literary Review
'If you like a tear-jerker with a twist you'll adore this. In the vein of Maggie O'Farrell's After You'd Gone, it deals with the loss of a loved one' - Glamour
One of those rare novels ... that intrigues, pulls on the heartstrings and confuses you all at once
Time Out
A shimmering fictional portrait of love and loss
Prepare to have your heart smashed into melancholy pieces
Mesmerising and unusual ... The book is beautifully written and, alongside thriller-like elements, packs a powerful emotional punch
Good Housekeeping
An extraordinarily moving novel, poised halfway between a lament and a mystery ... A novel to be read in one sitting, LORELEI'S SECRET is one of this summer's "must read" books
Big Issue (in the North)
Captivatingly strange ... perilously adorable
New York Times
Wonderfully inventive and slyly funny
Alexei Sayle, Telegraph Book of the Year
A heartbreaking exploration of memory and language, grief and redemption
This tightly woven tale has all the right stuff: romance, suspense, fantasy, and an ending that does not disappoint.
Red magazine (US)
Part love story, part psychological thriller and a thumping good read
A quirky and endearing love triangle
Marie Claire (US)
Carolyn Parkhurst writes as well about talking dogs and square eggs as she does about the limits of language and the intractable mysteries of the self. 'Lorelei's Secret' is a strange, beautiful and very moving novel that asks us to look, in equal measure, at the puzzle that is grief and the puzzle that is love.
Elizabeth Graver, author of 'The Honey Thief' and
Carolyn Parkhurst's 'Lorelei's Secret' --so luminous, heartbreaking, comic, and daring--is an astonishing debut. Parkhurst writes of love and loss, and, above all, of what we can and cannot know of one another, with power and deeply earned grace.
Richard McCann, author of 'Ghost Letters'
Shimmers with idiosyncratic intrigue . . . a humanistic parable of the heart's confusions.
Entertainment Weekly
The most unique and imaginative book I have read in recent times. Parkhurst is a wonderful writer and her story is daring, tender and full of surprises as well as wisdom and insight. I simply could not put it down.
John Searles, author of 'Boy Still Missing'; Senio
Every once in a while a book comes along that knocks you for six. Lorelei's Secret is just such a novel. It made me laugh and cry and most importantly, avidly read until the last page
This is the kind of book you stay up all night to finish
Carolyn Parkhurst's startling, achingly compelling first novel ... Part mystery, part thriller and all love story, this is a painfully evocative work, and Parkhurst is that rare thing - a "promising new talent" who turns out to be exactly that
Sunday Business Post
a charming, tender study in grief
Marian Keyes, The Week