Hide by Barry Unsworth
This early work by the Booker Prize-winning author Barry Unsworth chronicles one of his literary obsessions the corruption of innocence and forms it into a compelling contemporary narrative set in the rambling, overgrown grounds of an English estate. There, relying on his rich sister Audrey's beneficence, Simon obsessively digs a secret system of tunnels from which to spy on others. When Josh, a good-looking na f, becomes a gardener at Audrey's home, the two women of the household, Audrey and her distant relative and housekeeper, Marion, find Josh's strength and seeming innocence a potent spell, and his response escalates unacknowledged tensions between them. Meanwhile, Simon, worried about Josh, takes steps to prevent the exposure of his underground labyrinth. The explosive chemistry between the characters will eventually rip apart and rearrange all their lives.