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April 29 , 2011

Courting Shadows


"Utterly absorbing... unquestionably, this heralds the arrival or an extraordinary new voice-nuanced, sympathetic, compelling." -The Post (London)

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Seventeen year old Nicky Barrett has woken to find herself in a world that is not her own. All alone in a land that is reminiscent of the old west and full of characters that have arrived there throughout time, she must decide who she can trust and how she’s going to survive

In the winter of 1881, John Stannard, a young architect, is in self-imposed exile in a remote English village, carrying out repairs to the parish church. Arrogant and insensitive to what he considers superstition and sentimental attachment to the past, he soon begins to inflict serious damage on the ancient building as well as on those with whom he comes into contact-most notably the beautiful, ambitious, local girl Ann Rosewell.

This is the mesmerizing tale of a man who clings ferociously to his warped notion of civilized behavior, unwilling to admit his need for love. Set in a vividly evoked landscape and taut with foreboding, Jem Poster's striking first novel pits reason against emotion, progress against preservation, and explores our capacity for invention and self-delusion-the stories we tell each other and the stories we tell ourselves.

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