Only weeks into their marriage, a young couple embark on a six-month period of separation. Tom Cavendish goes to Japan to build lighthouses, and his wife, Ally, a doctor, begins her work at the Truro asylum. As the couple navigate their separate professional trials, the foundations of their marriage begin to slip.
An exquisite novel of the 1880s told in alternating parts: two maps of absence - two distinct but conjoined portraits of loneliness and determination.
"Sarah Moss is one of our country's most underrated writers.... Ally is one of the most memorable heroines of recent fiction. These books scream TV drama. You'll have forgotten Poldark and Outlander in no time. If there is one author you take a chance on this year, let it be her - it's time, and money, well spent." (The Times)
"Ally's torment is sympathetically rendered and is skilfully counterbalanced by Moss's sensual and beguiling descriptions of Japan." (Daily Mail)
"A quietly devastating portrait.... Moss is an effortlessly elegant writer and [Signs for Lost Children] is a compelling, often harrowing, occasionally heartbreaking read. It seems to me, with this book, that it's no longer sufficient to call what Moss is doing 'novel-writing'. Taken together, these three books constitute an ongoing interrogation of the role of women within the family, and in the wider world, and it's a broader, knottier enterprise than the word novel allows. A project, perhaps you could call it, of the lifelong variety. An undertaking." (Guardian)
"As with Bodies of Light, the richness of Moss's work is astonishing. Few writers demonstrate such quietly magisterial command of the rocky territories of both the heart and mind." (Independent)
"Moss captures Japan in the 1880s with chromatic elegance [and] lyrical descriptions. Signs for Lost Children [is] a rich and intricate novel." (Sunday Times)
"Heartfelt.... This wonderful, subtle novel picks up the strands of the story Sarah Moss began in Bodies of Light. This [is a] fine novel." (Sunday Express)
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Exploration of doors and chambers of heart & mind
- Rachel Redford
- a white