Daisy Johnson's Fen is a liminal land. Real people live their lives here. They wrestle with familiar instincts, with sex and desire, with everyday routine. But the wild is always close at hand, ready to erupt. This is a place where animals and people commingle and fuse, where curious metamorphoses take place, where myth and dark magic still linger. So here a teenager may starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl. A woman might give birth to a - well what? English folklore and a contemporary eye, sexual honesty and combustible invention - in Fen, these elements have come together to create a singular, startling piece of modern fiction.
'Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction.' Lauren Groff Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn't seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though - almost a lifetime ago - and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature. A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel's isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water - a canal thief? - swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back. Daisy Johnson's debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.
Something unspeakable has happened to sisters July and September. Desperate for a fresh start, they move across the country to an old family house that has a troubled life of its own. Noises come from behind the walls. Lights flicker of their own accord. Sleep feels impossible, dreams are endless. In their new, unsettling surroundings, July finds that the fierce bond she's always had with September - forged with a blood promise when they were children - is beginning to change in ways she cannot understand. The electrifying novel from the Booker shortlisted author of Everything Under. 'A short sharp explosion of a gothic thriller' Observer