| Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2019
| East Anglian Book of the Year Award 2018 – Winner Best Novel
| Shortlisted New Angle Book of the Year Award 2019
Swallow’s Farmhouse in deep, rural Norfolk is home to Your People, a commune of free-thinkers and poets seeking a better way. But beneath the veneer of a nurturing, alternative lifestyle, an atmosphere of jealousy and threat is pushing utopia towards the brink of its inevitable collapse.
Raising herself amidst the chaos is a twelve year old survivor, desperately preoccupied with her transition into womanhood. With her mute sister, beloved dog and the re-defining force of her emerging appetites, she marches resolutely towards her future, venturing – with hilarious and horrifying results – through the minefield of an adult world built on hypocrisy and misplaced ideals.
A tour de force of tragicomic invention and linguistic virtuousity […] I’ve never read a more sensuous and sensual book.
A wonderful depiction of a 1970s commune of hopeless, beautiful, deluded people. The book is so funny, I haven’t laughed so much in ages – I can’t imagine I’ll enjoy a novel more this year.
Quite brilliant – so funny at times, and so horribly sad. Tragic and hilarious – an experiment in ’70s new age living that could turn the hardiest biodynamic farmer into a Heinz soup guzzling rebel.
A fascinating portrait of a singular childhood – highly accomplished and very enjoyable.
A strange, compelling and very funny novel about life, love and Elizabeth David. Both nostalgic and acidic, Mackmin’s sun-bleached vision of 1970s Norfolk gradually takes on a more sinister atmosphere as her young heroine learns that growing up often means leaving behind the things we love most. This is experimental fiction at its very best – giving a new shape to the way we see the world, but one that strikes us as deeply, marvellously true.
Funny, touching and extraordinarily consistent in sustaining the voice of an almost 13 year old girl. Full of optimism as well as hurt.
Sir Richard Eyre
A dazzling debut – in equal parts hilarious and terrifying. An incredibly assured and superbly written evocation of an eccentric childhood that will nonetheless resonate powerfully with those whose upbringings were more conventional.