Second Self

Chlo? Ashby


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Orion Publishing Co
6 July 2023
ISBN: 9781398703032
320 pages

From the publisher

'Almost hypnotically perfect prose' Kate Sawyer
'A thoughtful, tender and delicate consideration of life's choices' Huma Qureshi
'Ashby handles her material lightly and atmospherically' Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

This absorbing second novel from the author of WET PAINT about confronting expectations and learning to cope with the nagging, complex questions that shape a life is perfect for fans of EXPECTATION and SORROW AND BLISS.

When Cathy and Noah first got together neither saw children in their future. Eight years later, they're happily married - and Cathy isn't so sure. With Noah's patience for his wife's ambivalence waning, her widowed mother in a world of her own and her best friend yearning for a second baby, Cathy feels increasingly adrift.

Escaping into her work in the conservation studios of the National Gallery, she chips away at the layers of overpaint on a canvas from the collection. Will the discovery of an unexpected truth help her find the clarity she craves?

'This book spoke to me like no other. Loved all the characters, big or small'

'I read this emotive and gripping novel over 48 hours - it's a beautifully written story and I recommend to anyone!'

'A gorgeous novel that pulled me straight out of my ongoing slow reading . . . pretty much read majority of it in one sitting!'