When Kenneth Earl advertises for someone to help him catalogue his vast collection of music, Maggie -- the final candidate -- is his last hope. What he doesn't know, however, is that this isn't the first time that Maggie has been to Earl House, and it's no coincidence that she applied for the job. As a child, Maggie and her mother lived near the river that runs past the house. Maggie's memories of that time are patchy, like pieces from a jigsaw puzzle that don't quite fit: she remembers Kenneth's son, William; a boat; a dog; she remembers children singing, and being alone, afraid. She remembers -- afterwards -- returning home, mute, refusing to speak. For her, going back to Earl House as an adult offers the chance to fill in the gaps and finally, perhaps, lay the ghosts of her childhood: for her, as for William, this is her chance to reclaim her past. Written in clear, ringing prose, The Song House is about language and music, memory and place, about who we are and the narratives we weave about the events of our lives. Beautiful and haunting, its cadences, themes and characters will resonate with the reader long after the final page is finished. An extraordinarily instinctive writer with a delicate feel for language Observer

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