From the author of A Perfectly Good Man, the bestselling story of an artist tormented by depression and the toll of creativity.
When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies she leaves behind an extraordinary body of work - but for her family there is a legacy of secrets and painful revelations.
Rachel exerts a power that outlives her. To her children she is both curse and blessing, as they cope with the inheritance of her passions - and demons. Only their father's gift of stillness can withstand Rachel's destructive influence and the suspicion that they all came a poor second to her art.
Piecing together the clues of her life - as artist, lover, mother, wife and patient - takes the reader from Cornwall to Canada across a span of forty years. What emerges is a tender story of enduring love, and a portrait of a family coping with the sometimes too dazzling brilliance of a genius.
'Poised and pitch-perfect throughout, this is an engrossing portrait of a troubled and remarkable character. A fine writer at the top of his game' Mail on Sunday
`This is an uplifting, immensely empathetic novel, and Gale's prose, as ever is as clear and bright as the Cornish light' Guardian
'It has the kind of quietly radiant intelligence, craft and integrity that bypasses superficial questions of originality. A novel with a variety and freshness that is all the more powerful and surprising for being discovering in such a circumscribed and very English milieu' Adam Lively, Sunday Times
'Skilfully constructed as a mosaic of different viewpoints that shift back and forwards in time. A warm, well-written novel about creativity and the perils of living with the creative spirit' Times Literary Supplement
'By the end I had laughed and cried and put all his other books on my wish list. This is dense, thought-provoking, sensitive, satisfying, humorous, humane - a real treat' Toby Clements, Telegraph
'Beautifully written, slowly unravelling tale...Patrick Gale's serene and carefully crafted prose conveys a profound understanding of the workings of human relationships and the torment that mental illness causes its sufferers and also those around them' Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are A Perfectly Good Man and the Richard & Judy bestseller Notes from an Exhibition.