by Caroline Hardaker
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Han Kang's Vegetarian, Megan Hunter’s The End We’re Starting From and Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, with a pinch of Black Mirror.
Birds are gone. It only became noticeable when none were left. Norah’s mother collected their feathers on the ground and preciously passed them onto her daughter. She was an artist and dreamed of better things. But Norah isn’t her mother. In fact, she wasn’t even there when she passed away. She’s pragmatic and does ok in her 9-5 insurance job.
Norah is in her thirties now and her date with Art (short for Arthur) has been cautiously engineered. They both meet in a restaurant, bringing their portfolio. Afterwards, each in the silence of their own little flat, they delight in reviewing the files: they’re a match. And when they spend their first night together, folding their clothes neatly on the side and only touching the tips of their fingers under the duvet tucked around their necks, they know they’re in for something special. And it doesn’t disappoint.
The couple are soon selected for the most exciting upgrade: they’re given a creature. It comes with a strict set of rules, mostly to keep it in a safe secluded environment – the loft has been prepared for this – and not to get attached. But Norah soon pushes the boundaries: letting the cute ball of fur run wild in the house and sleep in their bed. While Art keeps his distance, Norah gets closer to it (or her!) by the day and even gives her a name. As ‘Nut’ grows, and starts to develop features uncannily similar to Norah’s and Art’s, the reason behind Nut’s existence becomes impossible to ignore anymore and the couple must face a devastating reality which tests their bonds to family, memory, and each other forever.
A dark and haunting take on both literary and science fiction.
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Praise for Caroline's poetry:
‘Unforgettably arresting.’ – Travelling Man
‘A triumph of contemporary myth-making.’ – Sabotage Reviews
Caroline Hardaker is a poet and novelist from the northeast of England. She has published two collections of poetry, and her work has appeared worldwide in print and on BBC radio. She is Writer in Residence for Newcastle Puppetry Festival and is currently collaborating with the Royal Northern College of Music to produce a cycle of songs to be performed throughout the year. She lives and writes in Newcastle, UK
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- Publisher Angry Robot
- Publication Date April 2021
- Orginal LanguageEnglish
- ISBN/Identifier 9780857669025
- Publication Country or regionUnited Kingdom
- Publish StatusPublished
- Copyright Year2021
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