The Unwilding

Marina Kemp


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4th Estate
4 July 2024
ISBN: 9780008637859
416 pages

From the publisher

The stunning new literary read of summer 2024

‘Compelling and fine and rich, I devoured it' TESSA HADLEY

'Complex and nuanced… the perfect definition of summer reading' LUCY CALDWELL

'Subtle, complex, ambitious' THE TIMES

A stunning new novel of power, desire and the secrets all families carry, from the acclaimed author of Nightingale, Marina Kemp.

When fledgling writer Zoe arrives at the Sicilian holiday home of famed novelist Don Travers, she feels that she has made it. And yet as the week unfolds it is not Don but his children and unknowable wife, Lydia, who come to intrigue Zoe most. On the fringes, Don’s youngest, Nemony, watches as her older siblings begin to navigate the treacherous waters of the adult world. When her adored oldest sister makes a terrible mistake, the holiday ends suddenly, shattering the fragile balance of their parents’ marriage and the siblings’ lives.

Many years later and in the wake of loss, the events of that summer continue to haunt. Nemony, now a lonely new mother herself, strikes up a chance friendship with Zoe. With her support, Nemony attempts to grapple with the casual damage enacted by her father. But as their relationship deepens, she is soon forced to question the true extent of Zoe’s fascination with the Travers family.

Tracing their lives through Sicily, London and the old mining towns of Appalachia, Nemony must uncover the stories untold – about her implacable father, her troubled mother, and the siblings she might still do anything for.

'Exquisitely written, subtle and transporting' SUSSIE ANIE, author of To Fill a Yellow House

'Ambitious, immersive' OLIVIA SUDJIC, author of Sympathy

'Unflinching, magnificent' KAREN POWELL, author of Fifteen Wild Decembers