High on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the loss of Lily, mother of twins Eliot and Miranda, and beloved wife of Luc. Miranda misses her with particular intensity. Their capricious house belonged to her mother's ancestors, and to Miranda, newly attuned to spirits, newly hungry for chalk, it seems they have never left.
"Oyeyemi delivers her third passionate and unusual book, a neo-gothic tale revolving around Miranda and Eliot Silver, fraternal twins raised in a British house haunted by generations of afflicted, displaced family members, including their mother. Miranda suffers from pica, an affliction that causes her to eat nonedible items, which is passed down to her via the specters from her childhood that now punctuate her nightmares. As the novel progresses, the increasingly violent nature of this bizarre, insatiable hunger reveals itself to be the ironclad grip of the dead over the living or of mother over daughter. The book is structured around multiple voices-including that of the house itself-that bleed into one another. Appealing from page one, the story, like the house, becomes extremely foreboding, as the house is 'storing its collapse' and 'can only be as good as' those who inhabit it. The house's protective, selfish voice carries a child's vision of loss: in the absence of a mother, feelings of anger, betrayal and bodily desire replace the sensation of connection. Unconventional, intoxicating and deeply disquieting." -"Publishers Weekly," starred review
"Helen Oyeyemi is a startling literary prodigy." --"The Washington Post Book World"
"There's an intellectual sharpness about the author's writing which is a pleasure to read." --"Financial Times"
"Oyeyemi displays the young writer's amazing sure-handedness that is far beyond her years." --S"eattle Post-Intelligencer"
"Helen Oyeyemi leaves you obsessed with her characters and in awe of her talent." --"Glamour"
Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984 and moved to London when she was four. She is the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Icarus Girl, which she wrote while she was still at school, The Opposite House, and two plays, Juniper's Whitening and Victimese.