In the bedroom above her immense studio at Burntcoat, the celebrated sculptor Edith Harkness is making her final preparations. The symptoms are well known: her life will draw to an end in the coming days.
Downstairs, the studio is a crucible glowing with memories and desire. It was here, when the first lockdown came, that she brought Halit. The lover she barely knew. A presence from another culture. A doorway into a new and feverish world.
‘Sarah Hall makes language shimmer and burn . . . One of the finest writers at work today.’
‘Wonderful . . . The writing goes down smoking hot onto the page.’
‘Transporting . . . A beautiful novel, full of heat and darkness.’
‘I can think of no other British writer whose talent so consistently thrills, surprises and staggers . . . With Burntcoat she has solidified her status as the literary shining light we lesser souls aspire to.’