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The Fell
Cover of The Fell
The Fell

Acclaimed author of Summerwater and Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss is back with a sharply observed and darkly funny novel for our times.
'A tense page turner . . . I gulped The Fell down in one sitting' - Emma Donoghue
'Gripping, thoughtful and revelatory' – Paula Hawkins
'This slim, intense masterpiece is one of my best books of the year' - Rachel Joyce
'Her work is as close to perfect as a novelist's can be' The Times
At dusk on a November evening in 2020 a woman slips out of her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two-week quarantine period, but she just can't take it any more – the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And anyway, the moor will be deserted at this time. Nobody need ever know.
But Kate's neighbour Alice sees her leaving and Matt, Kate's son, soon realizes she's missing. And Kate, who planned only a quick solitary walk – a breath of open air – falls and badly injures herself. What began as a furtive walk has turned into a mountain rescue operation . . .
Unbearably suspenseful, witty and wise, The Fell asks probing questions about the place the world has become since March 2020, and the place it was before. This novel is a story about compassion and kindness and what we must do to survive, and it will move you to tears.
The Times audiobook of the week.

'One of our very best contemporary novelists' – Independent

Acclaimed author of Summerwater and Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss is back with a sharply observed and darkly funny novel for our times.
'A tense page turner . . . I gulped The Fell down in one sitting' - Emma Donoghue
'Gripping, thoughtful and revelatory' – Paula Hawkins
'This slim, intense masterpiece is one of my best books of the year' - Rachel Joyce
'Her work is as close to perfect as a novelist's can be' The Times
At dusk on a November evening in 2020 a woman slips out of her garden gate and turns up the hill. Kate is in the middle of a two-week quarantine period, but she just can't take it any more – the closeness of the air in her small house, the confinement. And anyway, the moor will be deserted at this time. Nobody need ever know.
But Kate's neighbour Alice sees her leaving and Matt, Kate's son, soon realizes she's missing. And Kate, who planned only a quick solitary walk – a breath of open air – falls and badly injures herself. What began as a furtive walk has turned into a mountain rescue operation . . .
Unbearably suspenseful, witty and wise, The Fell asks probing questions about the place the world has become since March 2020, and the place it was before. This novel is a story about compassion and kindness and what we must do to survive, and it will move you to tears.
The Times audiobook of the week.

'One of our very best contemporary novelists' – Independent

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About the Author-
  • Sarah Moss is the author of several novels and a memoir of her year living in Iceland, Names for the Sea, shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Her novels are Summerwater, Cold Earth, Night Waking, Bodies of Light (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize), Signs for Lost Children (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize), The Tidal Zone (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize) and Ghost Wall, which was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2019.
    Sarah was born in Glasgow and grew up in the north of England. After moving between Oxford, Canterbury, Reykjavik and West Cornwall, she now lives in the Midlands and is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Warwick.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 31, 2022
    Moss follows Summerwater with a revealing if tepid account of a family’s frustrations and fears while under quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kate and her teenage son, Matt, are in the middle of a mandated two-week lockdown at their home in Derbyshire, England, after Kate’s colleague tests positive. Restless, Kate breaks protocol and, without telling Matt, walks out of their house one evening, leaving her phone behind and trekking into the local mountain range for a brief escape. While there, she tumbles and badly injures herself. Unaware of Kate’s whereabouts, Matt panics, and a neighbor, Alice, calls the police. Though the story takes place over the course of one night, Moss fleshes things out via the characters’ memories and tangents, as Kate worries of government punishment and thinks back on her school days (“maybe they were right at school that breaking one rule makes it logical to break another until the commandments fall like dominos”), Matt waits to hear the worst, and Alice remembers her late husband. The interior monologues exhibit the author’s talent at developing her characters, but in the end it all feels a bit inconsequential. For those already weary of the state of the world, this doesn’t tread enough into new territory. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner.

  • Emma Donoghue A slim, tense page turner that captures the weird melancholia of locked-down life but also the precious warmth of human connection. I gulped The Fell down in one sitting
  • Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train The Fell reflects the lives we have been living for the last 18 months in a way no other writer has dared to do. There is wit, there is compassion, there is a tension that builds like a pressure cooker. This slim, intense masterpiece is one of my best books of the year
  • Rachel Joyce Carefully, affectingly and with emotional veracity, Moss opens out Alice's secrets along with everyone else's: the mortal fears, the losses, the mistakes. Moss writes so compassionately about human frailty while her own work is as close to perfect as a novelist's can be
  • Megan Hunter, author of The End We Start From A one-sitting read that's both thriller and stream of consciousness meditation on how Covid has changed our world . . . ambitious and immersive
  • Daily Telegraph Moss is strong on pastoral lyricism, and her characteristic humour is as piercing here as in her previous novels . . . The Fell eloquently explores many of the big issues we have been facing since March 2020
  • Mail on Sunday She conjures the fretful confinement of the pandemic with colossal skill . . . deft and evocative . . . the operation to rescue Kate is nail-biting. There are also scenes of unbearable poignancy . . . shrewd and moving
  • Literary Review The novel's chief achievement is the way it calcifies a specific moment in recent history . . . Moss perfectly simulates the stifling psychological confinement and ennui of locked-down life . . . Moss writes evocatively of the stark beauty of the countryside . . . a neat, atmospheric novel
  • Daily Mirror [The Fell] leaves the reader on tenterhooks as the story builds to its conclusion. Moss perfectly captures Kate and Alice's self-isolation-induced claustrophobia . . . Some readers might not want to immerse themselves in the cabin fever of early lockdown so soon after living through it, but Moss makes a strong case for social connection being as important as our physical health for survival
  • Church Times The Fell is very much a novel of our time . . . it takes note of the moment, and captures what seemed unimaginable even a year before it was set. But it also offers hope . . . there may be a time when what is described here is, indeed, in the past, and a novel like The Fell will help us to remember
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