When Jonah and Raff wake up on Monday, their mother Lucy isn’t there.
Although Jonah is only nine, he is the big brother, and knows enough about the world to keep her absence a secret. If anyone found out she’d left them alone, it could be disastrous for him and Raff; and she’ll be back, he’s nearly sure.
With growing unease, he puzzles over the clues she’s left behind. Who sent her the flowers? Why are all her shoes still in the house? Why is her phone buried in a plant pot?
And who, in their diverse south London community, might know more about her than he does?
For fans of My Name is Leon and The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Tamsin Grey’s outstanding debut is tender, funny and unsettling.
About the author
Tamsin Grey grew up in England and Zambia. She has worked as a cucumber picker, a yoga teacher, an oral historian, and as speechwriter to a secretary of state. SHE’S NOT THERE is her first novel.
- Praise for She’s Not There:
- ‘Tamsin Grey is wise about the street, and wise about the heart, especially the hearts of children. Her multi-racial London pulses with Dickensian energy and delight. She has that rare gift of combining in her prose the lyrical with the precise. She’s Not There is a wonderful, artfully addictive novel’ Ian McEwan
- ‘Brilliant and heartbreaking (and funny)’ Kit de Waal
- ‘[An] amazing debut, packed with South London atmosphere…it has To Kill a Mockingbird written all over it… brilliant’ Daily Mail
- ‘Mesmerisingly good’ Lisa Jewell
- ‘Tamsin Grey’s young narrator inhabits a south London that is diverse, inclusive and very real. She’s Not There is a beautiful, sad, strong story, enticingly told – and an extremely assured debut’ Stella Duffy
- ‘There’s an almost unbearable tenderness to Tamsin Grey’s sad, sweet debut’ Psychologies
- ‘A gripping read, the voices of the children are pitch perfect and will stay with you long after the last page’ Rosie Boycott
- ‘This book will fly! … Jonah is a wonderful creation and I loved his wise-child¹s view of the world, trying to make sense of the behaviour of adults, which is so often so much more irrational than that of children. He is so generous and forgiving and, of course,very funny. It makes you realise what we lose by growing up. The other characters are all very vibrant – especially the absent Lucy. Raff is adorable and Smelly Shelly truly heart-warming’ Julia Rochester