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  • Published: 12 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241457467
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.00

Unsettled Ground

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

When you live on the edge of society, it only takes one step to fall between the cracks

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Their rented cottage is simultaneously their armour against the world and their sanctuary. Inside its walls they make music, in its garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. At risk of losing everything, Jeanie and her brother must fight to survive in an increasingly cruel and unyielding world as their mother's secrets unfold, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. This is a powerful novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness.

  • Published: 12 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241457467
  • Imprint: Fig Tree
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.00

About the author

Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn't start writing until she was forty. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband and two children. She is also an artist and sculptor and has had several short stories published. Our Endless Numbered Days is her first novel.

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Praise for Unsettled Ground

Unsettled Ground is another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book

Laline Paull

Fuller's prose is darkly elegant, her eye for character astute and humane, and her sense of place vividly atmospheric -- here is a writer of great skill, sensitivity and subtlety

Lucy Atkins, author of Magpie Lane

Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy, in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society

Clare Mackintosh, author of Hostage

Her strongest yet... a powerful, beautiful novel that shows us our land as it really is: a place of shelter and cruelty, innocence and experience

The Times

Superb...deservedly longlisted for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction

Daily Mail

Fuller is excellent at description, and capturing the twins' awkward interactions with the world. The fate of the illiterate and weak-hearted Jeanie once she loses everything that is safe is particularly unsettling

The Sunday Times

Unsettled Ground shares with Fuller's previous works themes of closely guarded family secrets and homes built upon shaky foundations

Financial Times

An atmospheric thriller that's both heartbreaking and heartwarming


Tender, unusual... these memorable characters will work their way into your head and your heart

Good Housekeeping

With sensitivity and intelligence, Fuller unpicks the relentless complexity of the modern world

The Guardian

It's merciless in its observation of casual cruelty and merciful in its observation of casual kindness and family love

Richard Curtis

Dark, brilliantly observed and ultimately a tale of love winning the day.

The Sunday Telegraph

An intriguing, moving novel that will make you question assumptions you have about modern life

Tracy Chevalier, author of 'A Single Thread'

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