Book of the Week: After Me Comes the Flood
Before The Essex Serpent made waves in the book world, Sarah Perry wrote After Me Comes the Flood - her debut novel. It was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014, establishing Perry as a writer of top-quality fiction.
When she wrote The Essex Serpent, she not only met the same standards as her first novel, she absolutely smashed them. This was a number one bestseller, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 and both Fiction book of the Year and Overall Book of the Year 2017 at the British Book Awards. It was then nominated for a further eight literary prizes, including the Costa Novel Award 2017, and the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2017. Sarah Perry keeps getting better and better, and we can't wait to see what she does next.
"The child laughed and called again, and I heard a name I knew from long ago, though I couldn’t think whose face it should call to mind."
One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind. He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house. Its residents welcome him with open arms - but there's more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they've prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along.
Who are these people? And what do they intend for John? Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes the Flood is the haunting debut novel by the author of The Essex Serpent.
"A beautiful, dream-like narrative. Rarely do debut novels come as assured and impressive as this one." - Sarah Waters
"What makes this novel truly remarkable is its unique vision, its skilful and sophisticated characterisations, and the creation, without unseemly effects, of an atmosphere that will haunt the reader long after the final page" - The Guardian