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You by Joanna Briscoe


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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

This story is about a girl's compulsive obsession with her teacher and it is a compulsively obsessive book, taking you to the wilds of Dartmoor and the depth of your senses, both physical and emotional. What happens when childish dreams become reality? When emotions stretch across generations? And what if the past comes back to haunt you? This is a dark and moving literary novel, up there with the most evocative women's writing in the English language: the depth of characterisation you might expect from Austen and Bronte but with a modern more sensually explicit approach.

If you like Joanna Briscoe you might also like to read books by Bernice Rubens, Louise Douglas and Julie Myerson.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


You by Joanna Briscoe

Cecilia is obsessively in love with her teacher, the older, married Mr. Dahl. She plots and speculates, yet she never guesses that what she dreams of could actually happen. Is it her imagination, or is the high-minded Mr. Dahl responding to her? Cecilia's mother Dora wants the good life. She and her husband moved to Dartmoor so their children could run wild, free to make their own choices and mistakes. But Dora discovers that there is more to the countryside idyll, and indeed to her own marriage, than she assumed, when she finds herself fascinated by the very last, the very worst person she could fall for: the elegant and dangerous Elisabeth Dahl. Now, after twenty years, Cecilia is coming home, to face Dora, and to face her past. But the excitement and pain she had thought were buried cannot be buried. The past is a dangerous place. You, the unnerving and exceptional new novel from Joanna Briscoe, is a stunning story of sex, memory and family lies.


'A meditation on the lengths we will go to for love ... Briscoe is brilliant at conveying the obsessiveness of teenage love, ratcheting up the tension until the reader is every bit as involved as the character ... beguilingly good'

'Briscoe weaves compelling fiction. The prose is rich, the setting evocative ... To be hooked by a book is a treat, and I certainly enjoyed my time in this one's tangles'

Daily Mail

'A haunting, richly satisfying novel that plays with disturbing complexity on the question of how far it's possible, or even desirable, to escape from the past'
Literary Review

About the Author

Joanna Briscoe

Joanna Briscoe is the author of Mothers and Other Lovers, Skin and the highly acclaimed Sleep with Me, which was published in ten countries and adapted for ITV Drama by Andrew Davies. She has been a columnist for the Independent and the Guardian, for whom she is now a literary critic. Joanna Briscoe lives in London with her family.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2012


Joanna Briscoe

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


368 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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