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A young couple abandon the urban jungle of London's East End for a remote, mountainous corner of Washington State. Chosen by Mick, who is half-American, the place seems as alien as the moon to Rita. But she soon adjusts to raising their small daughter, Frances, in a broken-down cabin without electricity or water, and revels in the untamed beauty of their surroundings. She's scared, though, of the wild animals howling and screeching outside by night. What she cannot admit is her fear of Mick's violent temper. Worse, perhaps, are her own flashes of anger at Frances, frightening losses of control which leave her feeling shaken and guilty. Then she meets Ryan, a redneck poacher who plants in her mind the seed of rebellion.
In this, her striking debut novel, Jill Dawson creates a subtle and compassionate portrait of a young mother struggling to protect her child and of a father destroyed by his own childhood.
Jill Dawson is the author of Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, a Richard and Judy Summer Read in 2009, Lucky Bunny and The Tell-Tale Heart. In addition she has edited six anthologies of short stories and poetry. Born in Durham, Jill Dawson grew up in Yorkshire. She has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where she taught on the MA in Creative Writing course. In 2006 she received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her work. She lives in the Fens with her husband, two sons and foster daughter.