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Anansi International

Unsettled Ground

Written by Claire Fuller

Published May 18, 2021 | ISBN 9781487009403
FICTION / Literary

Cover of Unsettled Ground

Regular price $22.95 CAD

304 pages | 8.5 in × 5.5 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Unsettled Ground

Claire Fuller

From bestselling author Claire Fuller comes a portrait of life on the fringes of society, a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival.

What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant?

What would you do to get it back?

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At fifty-one years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.

About the Author

Claire Fuller

CLAIRE FULLER is the bestselling and award-winning author of three previous novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliot Prize and was a finalist for the ABA Adult Debut Book of the Year Award and the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award; Swimming Lessons, which was a national bestseller; and Bitter Orange, which was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. She has an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband and two children.

Awards and Praise


“Claire Fuller’s Unsettled Ground is so sharply, so utterly brilliant that I found myself holding my breath while reading it, dazzled by Fuller's mastery and precision. Not since Flaubert’s A Simple Heart have I encountered a narrative that shows, with such clear and patient fury, how breathtaking vulnerability can come from poverty, pride, and helpless family love.” — New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff

“Another engrossing book.” — Entertainment Weekly


Longlist, International Dublin Literary Award

An Best Book of the Year: Editors’ Choice

An Indie Next Pick

Bitter Orange echoes Penelope Lively’s Booker-winning Moon Tiger, Anita Brookner’s Look at Me, and Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger … Perfect heatwave reading … Fuller’s twists left me reeling.” — Independent, FOUR-STAR REVIEW

“It is rare for me to put down a novel and then immediately consider rereading it to see what cleverness I might have missed. This time, though, I am tempted.” — Sunday Times

“Page by page, Fuller enchants us with prose as thick as clotted cream, only for us to realize too late that she’s been ensnaring us at every turn.” — Paris Review

“The atmosphere [Fuller] conjures creates its own choking sense of dread.” — New York Times

“Fuller is an accomplished and serious writer who has the ability to implant interesting psychological dimensions into plotty, pacy narratives.” — Observer

“All the expectations are set up and subverted in Claire Fuller’s atmospheric and carefully constructed third novel … There are echoes of L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between and Ian McEwan’s Atonement in this set-up, as there are of Anita Brookney’s many stories of deceived spinsters.” — Telegraph

“The story builds to a shocking finale, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable book with a well-paced plot and plenty of twists and turns.” — Elle Canada


Chapters/Indigo February Staff Pick

An Best Book of February

A Goodreads 23 Highly Anticipated Book of 2017

A Book Riot 12 New Book for Winter 2017

A Bustle Most Anticipated Fictions Book of 2017

A Nylon 50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read

An 25 Most Anticipated Books By Women

A BuzzFeed 27 Brilliant New Books You Need to Read This Winter

National Bestseller

“Fuller’s Swimming Lessons is a master-class in prose … Fuller’s words are so exact and efficient in their storytelling … Stunningly beautiful … The elegance Fuller musters in such deliberate language is a feat. But the story itself is pretty genius all on its own … A novel that stands out.” — National Post

“Thrilling, captivating, sophisticated suspense.” — Sunday Times

“Assured, multi-layered, well-crafted, compelling, excellent.” — Mail on Sunday

“As she did in her first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days (2015), Fuller proves to be a master of temporal space, taking readers through flashbacks and epistolary chapters at a pace timed to create wonder and suspense. It’s her beautiful prose, though, that rounds this one out, as she delves deeply to examine the legacies of a flawed and passionate marriage.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Saving the best for last with revelations and surprises, Fuller’s well-crafted, intricate tale captures the strengths and shortcomings of ordinary people to show how healing is possible by confronting the darkest places.” — Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW


Winner, Desmond Elliott Prize for Best First Novel

Finalist, American Booksellers Association Adult Debut Book of the Year Award

Finalist, Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award

Amazon Rising Star 2015 (U.K.)

“A post-apocalyptic debut with a twist. An obsessive survivalist abducts his daughter in this gripping family drama.”— Guardian

“Fuller handles the tension masterfully in this grown-up thriller of a fairy tale, full of clues, questions, and intrigue.”— Times

“Both shocking and subtle, brilliant and beautiful, a poised and elegant work that recalls the early work of Ian McEwan in the delicacy of its prose and the way that this is combined with some very dark undertones.” — Desmond Elliott Prize Jury

“This gripping tale will be well received by fans of survivalist fiction and psychological thrillers.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“The book is almost impossible to put down. Fuller weaves a hypnotic intensity of detail into her narrative that gives every lie the feel of truth.”— Chicago Tribune

“Like Emma Donoghue’s Room, Fuller’s thoroughly immersive debut takes child kidnapping to a whole new level of disturbing.” — Publishers Weekly

“Fuller’s compelling coming-of-age story, narrated from the perspective of Peggy’s return to civilization, is delivered in translucent prose … This is a memorable first work from a talent to watch.” — Kirkus Reviews