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By Sarah Perry
Longlisted for the mum or dad First publication Award
Winner of the East Anglian ebook of the 12 months Award 2014
One sizzling summer's day, John Cole comes to a decision to depart his lifestyles in the back of.
He shuts up the book shop nobody ever involves and drives out of London. whilst his automobile breaks down and he turns into misplaced on an remoted highway, he is going trying to find aid, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand yet dilapidated residence.
Its citizens welcome him with open fingers - yet there's extra to this unusual group than meets the attention. all of them understand him via identify, they've ready a room for him, and declare to were looking ahead to him all alongside.
As nights and days go John unearths himself drawn right into a baffling menagerie. there's Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings filled with child-like ask yourself and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah - a faithless former preacher haunted by means of the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. who're those humans? And what do they intend for John?
Elegant, lightly sinister and psychologically complicated, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by means of a super new voice.
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He got here down from the raised shingle song onto a huge stretch of cracked dust on which white salt stains glittered. Above him the sky used to be vibrant and the small difficult solar pricked at his scalp. From away to his left, deep in a channel he couldn’t see, a curlew started to sing with a effervescent name that may have come from underwater. He stooped to select a head or of sea lavender, wincing because the stable sharp stems rasped opposed to the flesh within the criminal of his palms. The plants have been papery and dry, and held no odor. ‘All might be well,’ stated John hopelessly to a herring gull snoozing on a wood boat close by. ‘All might be good, and all demeanour of items may be good. ’ It used to be undeniable the gull doubted this, and with a drained thrust of its wings it deserted its wood perch. John, who hadn’t spotted the boat whilst first coming down from the embankment course, walked apparently over. by means of some distance the biggest of the crafts stranded at the marshes, it used to be an unpleasant, ill-proportioned, unpainted factor, without rudder, mast or sail that he may perhaps see, as unseaworthy as a backyard shed. A black stovepipe caught up from the roof of the cabin, achieving right down to a grimed oven which could simply be noticeable in the course of the centre of the boat’s 3 home windows. relocating a bit nearer, surroundings his ft conscientiously at the few raised enterprise patches among the damp rivulets of dust, John peered in. The window at the left used to be half-open, and swayed every now and then within the breeze, sending the mirrored solar sliding from side to side over the smeared glass. 3 pans, untidily stacked, sat at the stovetop; a fresh towel held on a wood rail. On a shelf nailed over the range used to be a tin can with its vibrant label became to the wall, and a infantile egg cup with a blue stripe. If he stood on tiptoe it was once attainable to work out, within the centre of a pine desk driven lower than the window, a stack of blue napkins ironed into neat squares, and with part its hide in colour, and part bleached light by way of the sunlight. The boat was once stranded in a stretch of damp dust as faded because the cap of a mushroom – no-one may be able to succeed in it from the gentle rainy marshes with out floundering. a collection of tracks, it seems that exhibiting the paws of a curious puppy, led midway to the tilting hull and again back on the worried name of its grasp. the place the drier marshes met the dust a number of wood planks have been stacked, caked with dust and in areas draped with seaweed. They made a dry course out to the boat a quick distance away, yet there have been no marks within the dust. John watched it awhile, half-expecting to determine a face on the window, yet there has been merely his personal, thinner than he remembered it, and concerned lower than an untidy thatch of hair. Turning away, he again to the trail and it in the direction of the empty horizon. Small furtive events got here from the grasses and sea lavender at his ankles, and occasionally a gull screamed out. at the back of the stranded houseboat, past the embankment direction, a line of pine bushes confirmed black opposed to the empty sky. Pigeons squabbled within the branches, bursting out of 1 tree and furiously into one other.