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The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

The Land of Decoration

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Winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2013.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012.

One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections.

With its intensely taut storytelling and gorgeous prose, The Land of Decoration is a heartbreaking story of good and evil, belief and doubt.

If you like Grace McCleen you might also like to read books by Karen Thompson Walker, Sarah Winman and Aimee Bender.


The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'New Writer of the Year' 2012.

One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections.

My name is Judith McPherson. I am ten years old. On Monday a miracle happened. Judith doesn't have much. The house she shares with her devoutly religious father is full of dusty relics, reminders of the mother Judith never knew. Bullied at school, she finds comfort in creating a miniature world in her bedroom - a world of wonder she calls The Land of Decoration. Perhaps, she thinks, if she makes it snow in The Land of Decoration there will be no school on Monday. Sure enough, when Judith opens her curtains the next day, the world beyond her window has turned white. And that's when her troubles begin.

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'An extraordinary and peculiarly haunting novel' -- Chris Cleave, Financial Times

'A tremendously affecting novel, skillfully and arrestingly written, and one that packs a big emotional punch' Sunday Times

'Bursting with tension and tenderness, this novel is a small miracle in itself' -- Helen Brown, Daily Mail

'Grace McCleen's writing is deep, fantastical and powerful... She has been able to observe a fascinating world with generosity, wonder and spirit. A wonderful gem of a debut' -- Viv Groskop, Independent on Sunday

'Affecting and brilliantly written.a truly awe-inspiring debut' Stylist

About the Author

Grace McCleen's first novel, The Land of Decoration, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Desmond Elliott Prize for the best first novel of the year. It was also chosen for Richard & Judy's Book Club and won her the Betty Trask Prize in 2013. Her second novel, The Professor of Poetry, was published by Sceptre in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Encore Award. She read English at the University of Oxford and has an MA from York, and currently lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd January 2013


Grace McCleen

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


304 pages


Family Drama
Debuts of the Month
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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