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London, 1926: Henry Twist's heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter - a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she'll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes, walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness. But one evening, a strange man steps out of the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says ... And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him? Set in a postwar London where the Bright Young Things dance into dawn at garden parties hosted by generous old Monty, The Haunting of Henry Twist is a novel about the limits and potential of love and of grief. It is about the lengths we will go to to hold on to what is precious to us, what we will forgive of those we love, and what we will sacrifice for the sake of our own happiness.
Closing date: 28/03/2019
With great sensitivity and against the rich backdrop of 1920s London, Rebecca F. John draws us into the intimacy of a tight circle of friends reeling after the unexpected death of the ebullient Ruby Twist. The book explores how, in an attempt to find solace, grief makes us vulnerable and allows for the contemplation of previously inconceivable possibilities. There are mysteries at the heart of this novel that are wonderfully compelling, while the psychologies of individual characters are so beautifully drawn - always very human even if not always admirable - that by the book's end I felt haunted by their departure. Quiet, moving, and guaranteed to leave an impression, The Haunting of Henry Twist is a tender, charming gem of a book -- Clare Wigfall
Praise for Rebecca F. John:
'These stories come from a deep, soul-like place of vitality, warmth and beauty... a prodigious writer of great intelligence and talent -- Roshi Fernando
Rebecca F John's prose is vivid, sparkling with intelligent observation. -- Sarla Langdon Swansea Bay
Publication date: 06/07/2017
|Publication date:||6th July 2017|
|Author:||Rebecca F. John|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,|
Rebecca F. John was born in 1986, and grew up in Pwll, a small village on the South Wales coast. Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2014, she was highly commended in the Manchester Fiction Prize. In 2015, her short story 'The Glove Maker's Numbers' was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2015, and the British participant of the 2016 Scritture Giovani project. Her first short story collection, Clown's Shoes, is available now through Parthian and she lives in Swansea with her three dogs.More About Rebecca F. John