Julia is married and eight years his senior; Julian is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born.
When Julian hears that Firdaws, his boyhood home, is for sale he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives.
Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.
Polly Samson is the author of two highly acclaimed story collections and a previous novel, Out of the Picture, which was shortlisted for the Authors' Club First Novel Award. Her most recent linked story collection, Perfect Lives, was a Sunday Times Fiction Choice of the Year and was read on BBC Radio 4. She has been shortlisted for the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize and The Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She recently wrote the introduction to Daphne du Maurier's The Doll: Short Stories. She has written lyrics for three bestselling albums and was a Costa Book Awards judge in 2007. Polly Samson lives in Brighton. @PollySamson