> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9781787331778
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00


The electrifying new novel from the Man Booker-shortlisted author of Everything Under

After a case of standard-issue school bullying develops into something far worse, teenage sisters July and September are forced to leave behind their old lives, moving across the country to a long-abandoned family home.

Left to their own devices by their depressed mother, and with the new school term not yet begun, the sisters become convinced the house is haunted and undertake to communicate with its ghosts. Meanwhile they’re also befriended by a local boy who introduces them to the more bodily pursuits of booze, drugs and sex. As the events inside the house and out come to a head, we learn the details of the traumatic events that drove the girls from their previous school, and the story culminates in an incredible twist that disrupts the very foundations you thought it was built on.
The Borrowed is a gripping coming-of-age-meets-psychological-horror that blurs the boundaries of the real and the imaginary to chilling effect. Daisy Johnson is unbeatable on place and atmosphere, but where Fen and Everything Under explored the natural world, The Borrowed is interested in the impact of our man-made surroundings on our psyches.

  • Pub date: 18 August 2020
  • ISBN: 9781787331778
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

About the Author

Daisy Johnson

Daisy Johnson was born in 1990. Her debut short-story collection, Fen, was published in 2016. In 2018 she became the youngest author ever to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with her debut novel Everything Under. She is the winner of the Harper's Bazaar Short Story Prize, the A. M. Heath Prize and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She currently lives in Oxford by the river.

Also by Daisy Johnson

See all

Praise for Sisters

“A short, sharp explosion of a gothic thriller whose tension ratchets up and up to an ending of extraordinary lyricism and virtuosity.”

Alex Preston, Observer *Fiction to Look Out for in 2020*

“Sisters has a hot, dark energy that thrums beneath the language like blood. Daisy Johnson’s portrayal of female relationships is sticky, close and true. It will seep into your skin and linger in your bones.”

Jessica Andrews, author of Saltwater

“This is a book that makes you remember why you first fell in love with reading. I was haunted by it. Utterly unique.”

Evie Wyld, author of The Bass Rock

“Johnson’s Sisters is haunted in the fullest sense; its very sentences governed by a sinister, spectral force. This is a novel we don’t so much read as wade through with our hands outstretched and our eyes clamped shut, holding our breath 'til morning. ”

Sue Rainsford, author of Follow Me to the Ground

“Sisters is brilliant. Bold and tender. There is a physicality to its spell, muttered sometimes, sometimes screamed: we can empty of ourselves and become an object, while objects can flush with life. Daisy Johnson is a profound writer.”

Cynan Jones, author of The Dig

“Daisy Johnson is one of the best writers in this country ... an astonishing stylist. Sisters is a thumping good book, haunting, visceral and potent.”

Max Porter, author of Grief Is The Thing With Feathers

“A blistering read. An exquisitely rendered exploration of sibling love and rivalry that rattles the core.”

Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch

“A beautiful, burning, disquieting marvel.”

Megan Hunter, author of The Harpy

“A taut, disturbing, and brilliantly written psychological drama of the first order. You'll read for the quality of the prose, but also the amazing depth of characterization and mystery. Another great book from one of our finest writers.”

Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation

“Daisy Johnson is an enchantress who can turn the day into night and back again in a sentence. I love her prose so much, and this book was the sibling love-and-horror story of my dreams and nightmares. ”

Karen Russell, author of Orange World

“Very much for the gothic lovers amongst us and those that crave psychological suspense… [Sisters] has been compared to the likes of Shirley Jackson and Daphne du Maurier… This weaving of women’s bodies, sex, sisterhood with the physical world reminded me a lot of surrealist works by the likes of Dorothea Tanning and Frida Kahlo. Intriguing and a novel that stands out in its originality.”

Victoria Sadler

Related titles