Kate Harvey: Why I Love Signs of Life

18 April 2012

by Kate Harvey, Picador editor

 

When Signs of Life first landed on my desk it didn’t take me long to be hooked – two sentences, in fact.

 

Beginning this book, there is something you should know.  This is not a confession.

 

An opening that sent a shiver through me.  Could it possibly get any better?

The answer was, and is, yes.  This is one of the most arresting voices I’ve come across in a decade: it’s hypnotic, bold and poised.  It’s a novel about love, obsession and memory, the irrationality and destructiveness of an all-consuming passion. Is Rachel telling the truth about what happened to her lover?  Does the real story lie somewhere in the notebooks she kept, in the snippets of her favourite writers and fragments of her dreams?

Signs of Life combines the steely vulnerability of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar with the provocation of Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal and the sheer readability of Before I Go To Sleep.

It’s been picked as one of this year’s Waterstones 11 and I hope you agree that Anna Raverat’s is one of 2012’s most exciting debut voices.

Read the first chapter of Signs of Life here.

 

 

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