Claire Fuller lives in Winchester. She is a director of a marketing agency specializing in marketing communications. She is also an artist and sculptor and has had several short stories published. Our Endless Numbered Days is her first novel.
Author photo © Adrian Harvey
What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant? What would you do to get it back? Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. Unsettled Ground is a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness.
An atmospheric, stormy beauty of a read which made me positively ache for the characters. As Frances lies on her deathbed she revisits the summer of 1969 when she met Cara and Peter at an abandoned country house, as the summer progresses vulnerabilities are highlighted and tragedy strikes. Claire Fuller peels open the lives of the characters with exquisite care. Feelings spin and slice across the page, freedom, isolation, menace all tumbling together in an uncertain dance. The house is a hugely important part of the tale, creating a setting that alternates between forsaken and decadent. Whenever the story left Lyntons, whether to the village beyond or the Frances of now, I felt an easing of pressure, I was able to relax muscles sitting in tense anticipation. ‘Bitter Orange’ sets a chilling yet poignant stage and allows access to the memories of the past, the emotions are touchable, the ending so perfect it hurt. Featured in Episode 5 of the LoveReading Podcast
January 2016 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2015. Seventeen-year old Peggy has recently returned home, initially we know not from where. Her father is dead, her mother has destroyed all evidence of him from their home. Peggy has a nine-year old brother who she has only just met. Slowly we are drip-fed an extraordinary tale of madness and survival. Young eight-year old Peggy spent an idyllic summer living rough with her father, learning survival skills. He then takes her on a trek across Europe to a deserted wooden hut where they turn native for he believes the world has ended and he and Peggy the only people left alive. How he dies and she eventually gets home is the heart of this terrific tale. It is an unusual, atmospheric, alarming, horrifying tale of madness and survival. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015.
The second novel from the Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Unsettled Ground explores the mysterious truths of a troubled marriage and the ripples it creates. 'Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.' Twelve years ago Flora's mother Ingrid disappeared, vanishing from a Dorset beach, presumed drowned. Everyone - especially her sister and father Gil - believes Ingrid is long dead. Everyone, except Flora. So when she hears that her father has had an accident, and is insisting that he saw his wife, Floral rushes home. But the answers she seeks are nowhere to be found - only further questions: Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do the letters hidden within Gil's books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children? 'Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense' Sunday Times 'Assured, multi-layered, wellcrafted, compelling, excellent' Mail on Sunday 'A beautifully told story of motherhood, marriage and infidelity' Good Housekeeping *A Richard and Judy Book Club Pick*
Our April 2021 Book Club Recommendation Click here to see our Reading Group Questions. With love and family sitting centre stage, this is an emotionally intelligent and beautiful novel. Reclusive 51 year old twins Jeanie and Julius find their lives in disarray when their mother dies and secrets spill forth. At LoveReading we have adored Claire Fuller’s novels since her debut Our Endless Numbered Days which won the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2015. I love her writing style, she has the ability to take you to known yet entirely unexpected places within the human soul and your own subconscious. Her descriptions almost hurt as they land with apparently effortless precision. This has a seemingly simple premise, yet it thoroughly provokes thoughts and contemplation. The words danced from the pages into my mind, and pieces of my heart cracked and broke away. A wonderful balance is maintained as hope is allowed to remain within touching distance. These are characters that will stay with me, this is a story that I will return to. Unsettled Ground evokes raw emotions and yet it is a thoughtfully compassionate and gorgeous read. Highly recommended and a LoveReading Star Book.
Im Sommer 1969 geschehen zwei Dinge im Leben von Frances Jellico, die sie zum ersten Mal Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung empfinden lassen: Ihre dominante Mutter stirbt, und sie erhalt den Auftrag, fur das Lynton Herrenhaus ein architektonisches Gutachten zu schreiben. Frances lost ihre Londoner Wohnung auf und richtet sich fur einige Wochen in Lynton ein. Die einzigen Bewohner des einsamen Hauses sind Cara und Peter, das Hausmeisterpaar, zu dem sie rasch eine enge, komplizierte Beziehung entwickelt. Denn Cara macht sie zu ihrer Vertrauten, wahrend Frances sich zunehmend zu dem undurchschaubaren Peter hingezogen fuhlt. Das Ende dieses Sommers besiegelt ein Ereignis, das fur Frances den Rest ihres Lebens auf tragische Weise beeinflussen wird.
Eigentlich hatte sie andere Plane. Ein selbstbestimmtes Leben, Reisen, vielleicht eine Karriere als Schriftstellerin. Doch als sich Ingrid in ihren Literaturprofessor Gil Coleman verliebt und von ihm schwanger wird, wirft sie fur ihn all dies uber Bord. Gil liebt seine junge Frau, und dennoch betrugt er sie, lasst sie viel zu oft mit den Kindern allein. In ihren schlaflosen Nachten beginnt sie, Gil heimlich Briefe zu schreiben. Statt ihm ihre innersten Gedanken anzuvertrauen, steckt sie ihre Briefe in die Bucher seiner Bibliothek und verschwindet schlielich auf ratselhafte Weise. Zwolf Jahre spater glaubt Gil, seine Frau in dem kleinen Ort an der englischen Kuste wieder gesehen zu haben - und ihre gemeinsame Tochter Flora, hin und her gerissen zwischen Hoffnung und Verzweiflung, beginnt nach Antworten zu suchen, ohne zu ahnen, dass sie nur die Bucher ihres Vaters aufschlagen musste, um sie zu erhalten ...