‘Hugely readable and profoundly important … Perry’s masterly piece of postmodern gothic is one of the great achievements of our century’ — The Observer
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE
OBSERVER FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018
‘Beautiful, devastating, brilliant’ — Marian Keyes
‘Astonishingly dark … exquisitely balanced’ — Francis Spufford
‘Packs a punch of atmosphere, creepiness, fear and melancholy’ — Susan Hill
‘Mythic, ominous and sensitively human’ — Frances Hardinge
‘Richly atmospheric, daring and surprising’ — Melissa Harrison
‘Striking and brave … moving and terribly beautiful’ — Sam Guglani
Oh my friend, won’t you take my hand – I’ve been so lonely! One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin meets her friend Karel on the street. Agitated and enthralled, he tells her he has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with personal testimonies that take them from 17th-century England to wartime Czechoslovakia, the tropical streets of Manila, and 1920s Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing an unforgettable message.
Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.