Levitation for Beginners

Suzannah Dunn

'This is a novel about everything and nothing, sour and melancholy, with elements of sheer comedy and almost unbearable beauty... The older Deborah reflects that "I'm surprised any of us lived to tell the tale", and if this subtle book has a message, it is how alien and yet how relatable the past remains' Guardian Book of the Day

'A bittersweet, nostalgia-tinged adventure... with a steadily growing voltage' Daily Mail

'A deliciously unsettling read' Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

'Lovely' Patrick Gale

A sharp eye and keen wit are brought to bear on the secrets and lies of a small rural community - secrets and lies that may prove deadly.

It's 1972 and ten-year-old Deborah is living a ten-year-old life: butterscotch angel delight and Raleigh chopper bikes, and Clunk Click, and Crackajack and Jackanory, Layla and the Bee Gees, flares and ponchos.

But new girl Sarah-Jayne breezes into ten-year-old Deborah's school, pretty as a picture and full of gossip and speculation, as well as unlikely but thrilling stories about levitation. The other girls are dazzled but Deborah is wary and keeps her distance. That same week, eighteen-year-old brickie Sonny turns up on her doorstep with a stray tortoise and begins an unlikely friendship with her young widowed mum. That's bad enough, Deborah thinks, but then Sonny starts work on a site opposite the school and Sarah-Jayne decides he's the latest love of her life. Nothing escapes Sarah-Jayne, and Deborah fears what she'll make of her mum. It's good to be different, her mum often says; but not, Deborah knows, too different.

So, Deborah changes tactics, keeping her friends close and her enemy closer, even stepping up for some of Sarah-Jayne's levitation sessions. Then she's invited to Sarah-Jayne's lovely house, where she meets her charming family and encounters Sarah-Jayne's big sister's fiance, Max, which is when she senses that all isn't quite as it seems.

Readers say:

'Suzannah Dunn is a master at dissecting the relationships that are closer than "just friends", those love affairs we have with our oldest friends, the attachments we formed before we were old enough to rationalise our preferences - the friends of our blood and bone. This book is a subtle, elegant and creepily powerful examination of what happens to one such friendship' Five star reader review for Venus Flaring

'I love this book and have read it and re-read it many times. It is so evocative of being a teenage girl in the late eighties and yet it somehow manages to be timeless. It perfectly captures the sense of self-importance that we all have as a teenager' Five star reader review for Blood Sugar

  • Classification : GENERAL & LITERARY FICTION
  • Pub Date : APR 4, 2024
  • Imprint : Abacus
  • Page Extent : 272
  • Binding : TPB
  • ISBN : 9781408707241
  • Price : INR 699

Suzannah Dunn

Launched in 1990 with her debut novel, Darker Days Than Usual, Suzannah Dunn wrote a further five critically acclaimed contemporary novels, and a short story collection, published by Flamingo, before writing her first historical novel, The Queen of Subtleties, which was published in 2004. She went on to write The Sixth Wife, The Queen's Sorrow, The Confession of Katherine Howard (a Richard & Judy pick in 2011), The May Bride, The Lady of Misrule and The Testimony of Alys Twist.

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