|Pages/Publication Date:||289 / 2015|
(Named one of the most notable books of 2014 by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and London's Guardian, Independent, and Telegraph newspapers) This collection of unsettling, at times shocking stories is suffused with the same penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence that earned the author her Man Booker Prizes for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Acutely, even brutally, Hilary Mantel writes about marriage, class, family, and sex in 11 stories of dislocation and family fracture, whimsical infidelities and sudden deaths with sinister causes.
"Mantel's stories have their own special tang and quidditas. Even as one appreciates the suave authorial style—light, pared-down, technically scintillating, like the Olympic gymnast who nails her landing every time—one has the sense too that Mantel is working with some fairly edgy and complex private material in these contemporary fables.... One gets the feeling she wants both to frighten us (at times more than a little) make us laugh."—NYTBR
"[Mantel] evokes a shadowy region where boundaries blur and what might have happened has equal weight with what actually occurred.... Even the most straightforward of Mantel's tales retain a faintly otherworldly air."—Washington Post
"The stories are artfully constructed and share a muted gothic tone marked by the same 'heightened, crawling quality' that one of Mantel's narrators, a writer, finds at a moldering hotel."—The New Yorker