Eira is alone. Thirty-six years old and living on her own. She loved Jack, but their relationship had to end - she could never have a baby with an alcoholic. Now she works in a quiet museum, in the middle of a park, desperately lonely and aching for someone to love. And one spring morning, she finds a baby in a box on the museum steps. Looking back to one unforgettable summer many years ago, that began as a hot, magical idyll but ended in tragedy, we see the painful confusion of a young girl caught up in very adult affairs.The guilt about what happened will stay with and shape Eira, and the horrific discovery of her thin and mysterious older sister's secret will scar her. In Katharine Davies' haunting and many-layered story, the pain of an intense and unfulfilled longing is evoked in luminous and beautiful writing. "Hush, Little Baby" is about love and youth, longing and age, but it is very much a poignant and vivid exploration of a woman's experience and the visceral need to be a mother.
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(198mm x 130mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
An intensely focused lyrical riff on guilt and desire.Having ended her relationship with a man she loved because he would make an unsuitable father, lonely 36-year-old Eira works at a London museum where she fantasizes about her happily married boss, whose wife is trying to conceive. When Eira finds an abandoned infant on the museum steps, she turns the child in at a health clinic. But the discovery has wound up her biological clock. At the same time, Eira finds herself returning to memories of the pivotal summer when she was ten and vacationing at the farm of elderly Aunt Maggie and Uncle Huw (who were going through their own romantic rough patch). When Eira arrived with her little brother, Eira's adored older, half-Indian half-sister Phyllis was already there, supposedly recovering from anorexia. Eira soon caught on that Phyllis, 17, was dating a local boy to cover up her serious affair with Edward, a 22-year-old boarder at the farm. Eventually, Eira realized that Phyllis was secretly pregnant, and helped with the birth. The infant was stillborn. Edward died in a car crash soon after. Bereft, Phyllis gradually starved herself, dying when Eira was herself 17. As a grown woman, Eira still blames herself for misleading Edward about Phyllis's feelings, causing his death and thus her sister's. Because the adult Eira is described in third-person past while the childhood memories are recounted in first-person present, the novel's back-and-forth between then and now takes some adjustment, as does the dreamy narrative voice with its affection for moth motifs, but Davies (The Madness of Love, 2005) shows tantalizing glimpses of humor and gritty reality as she pulls together multiple love triangles.Slight but haunting. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Katharine Davies
Katharine Davies was born in 1968 and grew up in Warwickshire. She read English and Drama at London University and taught English for several years, including a period in Sri Lanka, before doing an MA in Creative Writing. Her first novel, The Madness of Love, won the 2005 Romantic Novel of the Year Award. She is now teaching in London.