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' has been published in paperback in the UK, Brazil, Italy, India, the United States, and Australia.

Chosen as a Book of the Year by The Times, The Observer, and Sunday Herald.

"Beautifully written, with twists engineered like a thriller"
The Observer; Book of the Year

"Close to perfection"
India Knight, The Sunday Times

"An addictive, cleverly structured and intriguing relationship story of lies and flawed communication"
The Sunday Times; Book of the Week

"A book to cherish, to recommend, to return to"
Financial Times

"Beautifully written and plotted with serpentine cunning"
Mail on Sunday

"Mesmerising ... It's so subtly done and the revelations are so surprising that you're forced to reconsider the legacy of pain, grief and betrayal. Impressive"
**** Sunday Express

"A tantalisingly labyrinthine tale full of hints and feints, an intricate weave of tangled knots and dropped stitches from which, very slowly, the truth of the past begins to emerge"
The Guardian

"The novel's effortlessness, its readability, sweeps everything in its wake"
Daily Telegraph

"A mature and haunting novel"

"A sumptuous, serious story"
Daily Mail

"Raw, gritty, dark and honest"

"The twist, when it comes, leaves you slack-jawed. Good books change their temperature and flavour – I can feel the weather in this book, I can smell the gardens and I believe the sex"
Jenny Eclair

"Set to become a classic"
Sunday Herald; Book of the Year

"A gem of a novel"
The Bookseller

"A gorgeously chilling novel"
The Independent

"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"
Joanne Harris

"Dark, sensual and clever. I loved this book so much I finished it then started re-reading it to see how she did it"
Jojo Moyes






























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