Rusbridge's sympathetic and respectful handling of a sensitive issue conveys an emotional impact that resonates long after the closing pages ( TLS)
Genuinely fascinating and the writing itself is really fine - often lush and ambitiously poetic, but always controlled ( Daily Mail)
Rook is an astonishingly vivid book; colours, textures, sounds, landscape, weather - a locality so precisely evoked that it rises up from the page as you read, and surrounds you with the fabric of the imagined lives which inhabit it. They are fascinating and compelling lives, and the plot delves into the layers of their past actions and secrets, delicately peeling them away ... an utterly engrossing novel ( The Tablet)
An emotional tale of family, forgotten history and loyalty ( Psychologies)
What a good novelist Jane Rusbridge is! I love the way she combines dexterous storytelling with deliciously descriptive, poetic prose. The people, the landscape they inhabit, even the birds in the air, are all vividly rendered in this mesmerising and multilayered story
( Marika Cobbold, author of Guppies for Tea)
Nora has come home to the Sussex coast where, every dawn, she runs along the creek path to the sea. In the half-light, fragments of cello music crash around in her mind, but she casts them out - it's more than a year since she performed in public. There are memories she must banish in order to survive: a charismatic teacher with gold-flecked eyes, a mistake she cannot unmake. At home her mother Ada is waiting: a fragile, bitter woman who distils for herself a glamorous past as she smokes French cigarettes in her unkempt garden.
In the village of Bosham the future is invading. A charming young documentary maker has arrived to shoot a film about King Cnut and his cherished but illegitimate daughter, whose body is buried under the flagstones of the local church. As Jonny disturbs the fabric of the village, digging up tales of ancient battles and burials, the threads lead back to home, and Ada and Nora find themselves face to face with the shameful secrets they had so carefully buried.
One day, Nora finds a half-dead fledgeling in a ditch. She brings him home and, over the hot summer months, cradles Rook back to life.
A mesmerising story of family, legacy and turning back the tides, Rook beautifully evokes the shifting Sussex sands, and the rich seam of history lying just beneath them.
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