Author(s): Catherine Noske
This is the story of a crime. This is the story of a miracle. There are two stories here.
Hannah Mulvey left her wind-lashed island home as a teenager. But her stubborn, defiant mother is dying, and Hannah has returned to Chesil, taking up a teaching post at the tiny schoolhouse, doing what she can in the long days of this final year. Like her mother, the island is not as once it was. Isolation, the salt-struck land, a failing harvest, and better prospects elsewhere have left their mark on a community clinging desperately to the edge of the coast.
But gradually, so that Hannah cannot pinpoint exactly when it begins, the community begins to unravel. There are odd reports, rumours. A girl disappears from her classes. People gather and mutter on street corners, meet at strange hours, flock together as a silent force. Even as an outsider, Hannah can see their increasingly strange behaviour towards her young charge...
The truth lies with those who speak loudest...
Catherine Noske's suspenseful and provocative novel turns on a single, terrible event. It is a gripping portrayal of a remote community caught up in a collective moment of madness, of good intentions turned terribly awry; a blistering examination of truth and power, and how we might distinguish one from the other.