Ten years ago, two girls’ lives changed forever.
Now one of them is ready to tell their story.
The first memory I have of you is all knickers and legs. You had flipped yourself into a handstand and couldn’t get back down. We became best friends, racing slugs, pretending to be spies – all the things that children do.
Ten years later, eighteen-year-old Ravine Roy spends every day in her room. Completing crosswords and scribbling in her journal, she keeps the outside world exactly where she wants it; outside.
But as the real world begins to invade her carefully controlled space, she is forced to finally confront the questions she’s been avoiding. Who is her mother meeting in secret? Who has moved in next door?
And why, all those years ago, when two girls pulled on their raincoats and wellies and headed out into the woods did only one of them return?
‘A breakout book from an incredibly talented debut writer. Read, weep and laugh’ Stylist
‘An original heartfelt read by a new British talent’ Independent
‘A delightfully fresh voice’ Daily Mail
Henry, a New Yorker left destitute by circumstance and obsession, is plucked from vagrancy by a shadowy outfit whose primary business is arranging for staged murders of anxiety-ridden clients unhinged by the “events downtown” and seeking to -experience—and live through—their own carefully executed assassinations. When Henry joins this nefarious crew, which includes a beautiful blonde tattooist named Tulip, contortionist twins, and a woman referred to only as “the knockout,” he becomes inextricably linked to its ringleader, the mysterious herring connoisseur Mr. Kindt, whose identity can be traced through twists and turns all the way back to the corpse depicted in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson.
Mirrored by a concurrently running story set in a hospital where Henry and Mr. Kindt are patients attended to by a certain Dr. Tulp, the mysteries surrounding Mr. Kindt’s past, Henry’s fate, and murders both staged and real begin to unravel in the most extraordinary ways. Substantive, stylish, and darkly comic, The Exquisite is a skillful dissection of reality, human connection, and the very nature of existence.