Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor.
But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all.
But Isobel Fairfax, who drops into pockets of time and out again, knows about the past. She is sixteen and waiting for the return of her mother - the thin, dangerous Eliza with her scent of nicotine, Arpege and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.
Kate Atkinson won the Costa (formerly the Whitbread) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her bestselling novels include the four featuring former detective Jackson Brodie which became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her 2013 novel Life After Life spent a record number of weeks on top of the bestsellers lists on both sides of the Atlantic, and won the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize and the Costa Novel Award, a prize Kate Atkinson won again in 2015 for A God in Ruins. Her new novel Transcription comes out in September 2018.