He followed her eyes skyward to a bird that was falling, turning and turning, like a heart that had leapt free. It fell, and as it did it became a falcon. He was transfixed.
Julian's fall begins the moment he sets eyes on Julia. Julia is married and eight years his senior; he is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born.
When Julian hears that Firdaws, his adored boyhood home, is for sale he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives.
Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal that is clothed in kindness and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.
'The Kindness' is published in hardback in the UK by Bloomsbury.
"A gem of a novel."
"A gorgeously chilling novel."
"The main ingredients of this novel are deceptively simple. A man; a woman; a house; a child;
a long-kept secret to be revealed, not in a fanfare, but in a series of small and somehow terrible revelations, tortuous
as the human heart. It is a beautifully-written and intricately-constructed piece of writing; shining, poetic and sumptuous;
a portrait of a sunlit lake, which at any moment may reveal itself to be the scene of a tragedy. Polly Samson is a writer of
great insight and sensitivity; her novel is moving, wistful, wise and ultimately hopeful; grown-up in all the right ways, but
still with a simplicity that comes directly from the heart."
"Dark, sensual and clever. I loved this book so much I finished it then started re-reading it to see
how she did it."