Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller audiobook review – secrets and survival

A deft version of the Costa prize winner about rural, middle-aged twins whose sheltered lives are shattered by their mother’s death

Claire Fuller’s Costa prize-winning novel begins with 70-year-old Dot getting up in the night in her farm cottage and collapsing from a stroke by the kitchen hearth. Her body is found in the morning by her two adult children who face an uncertain future in the wake of her death.

Twins Jeanie and Julius are 51 years old and have led desperately sheltered lives, never venturing far from home, living off the land and eschewing modern necessities such as bank accounts, television and the internet. Unsettled Ground provides a richly detailed portrait of two outsiders out of step with the world and forced to confront the lies their late mother told to keep them at home. As well as showing the siblings’ emotional implosion, Fuller depicts the harsh realities of life in a remote rural community where work is scarce and many live in dire poverty.

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