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Unsettled Ground

by Claire Fuller

Book Club Recommendations Books of the Month Family Drama Literary Fiction Modern and Contemporary Fiction Star Books

LoveReading View on Unsettled Ground

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.

Liz Robinson

Unsettled Ground Synopsis

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. 

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Closing date: 30/06/2021

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Unsettled Ground Press Reviews

A gorgeously written celebration of the natural world as well as a moving portrait of a family struggling against time. This book is ultimately about redemption-about the unexpected importance of neighbors, lovers, and friends, and the ways in which we can re-envision our lives for the better, even after the unimaginable has occurred - Lucy Tan

So sharply, so utterly brilliant that I found myself holding my breath while reading it, dazzled by Fuller's mastery and precision. Not since Flaubert's A Simple Heart have I encountered a narrative that shows, with such clear and patient fury, how breathtaking vulnerability can come from poverty, pride, and helpless family love - Lauren Groff, author of 'Fates and Furies'

Unsettled Ground is another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book -- Laline Paull

Fuller's prose is darkly elegant, her eye for character astute and humane, and her sense of place vividly atmospheric -- here is a writer of great skill, sensitivity and subtlety -- Lucy Atkins, author of Magpie Lane

Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy, in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society -- Clare Mackintosh, author of After the End Bewitching, otherworldly, full of dark foreboding. Claire Fuller is a dazzling storyteller - Scotsman, on Bitter Orange

I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't reading a forgotten classic - Emma Healey on Bitter Orange

A story suffused with the poignancy of miscommunication between people who love each other, of the things we can never really know - Guardian on Swimming Lessons

Extraordinary, gripping. Fuller writes with a singing simplicity that finds beauty amid the terror - The Sunday Times on Our Endless Numbered Days

Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense - Sunday Times on Swimming Lessons

A gorgeously written celebration of the natural world as well as a moving portrait of a family struggling against time. Through buried secrets and private longings, the Seeders emerge as multi-layered characters living at the fringes of society. This book is ultimately about redemption-about the unexpected importance of neighbors, lovers, and friends, and the ways in which we can re-envision our lives for the better, even after the unimaginable has occurred - Lucy Tan

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Unsettled Ground

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241993132
Publication date: 25/03/2021
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Audiobook

ISBN: 9780241457443
Publication date: 25/03/2021
Publisher: Fig Tree an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241457443
Publication date: 25th March 2021
Author: Claire Fuller
Publisher: Fig Tree an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 304 pages
Genres: Book Club Recommendations, Books of the Month, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Star Books,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense,

About Claire Fuller

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 Claire Fuller is our Putting Authors in the Picture feature for May 2019. Click here to read more about her author journey on our blog.

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