The Blue Book

A. L. Kennedy

When ex-lovers meet on a cruise ship, secrets and lies emerge in this heartbreaking story by a modern master of the novel whom Richard Ford has called “a profound writer.”

From one of the U.K.’s most dazzling authors comes a brutal and funny novel about a pair of fraudulent psychic mediums that is itself an elaborate con game between fact and fiction, life and death.

Beth boards an ocean liner with Derek, her almost-fiancé, and encounters her past in the form of Arthur, a not-quite-ex lover. The sea voyage churns up fraught memories of the shady life she and Arthur led, acting as spiritual mediums to fleece the vulnerable. The Blue Book is a haunting meditation (per the Telegraph) about “how love is a private language, a set of codes, to which the outside world ought not admit impediment; about the rightness of doing wrong by false love when true love is waiting down the companionway.” Mysterious, virtuosic, and ultimately heartbreaking, The Blue Book is A. L. Kennedy at the height of her powers.

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