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The Memory of Animals by Claire Fuller
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The Memory of Animals

From the Costa Novel Award-winning author of Unsettled Ground
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Narrator Genevieve Gaunt

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Length 9 hours 50 minutes
Language English
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Brought to you by Penguin.

From the Costa-Winning, Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Unsettled Ground: a gripping, haunting novel about memory, love and survival, for readers of Never Let me Go and Leave the World Behind

Neffy is a young woman running away from grief and guilt and the one big mistake that has derailed her career. When she answers the call to volunteer in a controlled vaccine trial, it offers her a way to pay off her many debts and, perhaps, to make up for the past.

But when the London streets below her window fall silent, and all external communications cease, only Neffy and four other volunteers remain in the unit. With food running out, and a growing sense that the strangers she is with may be holding back secrets, Neffy has questions that no-one can answer. Does safety lie inside or beyond the unit? And who, or what is out there?

While she weighs up her choices, she is introduced to a pioneering and controversial technology which allows her to revisit memories from her life before: a childhood divided between her enigmatic mother and her father in his small hotel in Greece. Intoxicated by the freedom of the past and the chance to reunite with those she loves, she increasingly turns away from her perilous present. But in this new world where survival rests on the bonds between strangers, is she jeopardising any chance of a future?

The Memory of Animals is a taut and emotionally charged novel about freedom and captivity, survival and sacrifice and whether you can save anyone before you save yourself.

ยฉ2023 Claire Fuller (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn't start writing until she was forty. She has written four previous novels: Unsettled Ground, which in 2021 won the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, Swimming Lessons, which was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award, and Bitter Orange. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband.

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Reviews

A taut and atmospheric read, an exploration of captivity, sacrifice and survival in a post-apocalyptic world ... Asks important, resonant questions of life in extremis ... Fuller writes brilliantly ... The superb ending ties everything together with a moving, tragic cohesiveness Stunning ... A page-turning, topical, edge-of-your-seat story that resonates with the reader on an emotional level, and leaves them thinking about it for a long time afterwards Haunting and unsettling, moving and thoughtful, with horror lurking at the edges, this is a subtle, elegant novel. Claire Fuller is a huge talent Claire Fuller is such an interesting and original writer and she has produced another literary page-turner ... Compulsive and thoroughly convincing. Terrific! Claire Fuller is a fascinating writer, and The Memory of Animals is further evidence of her powers. Her story is one of survival, but her subject is humanity itself. With immense skill, she shines a light on the dark heart of our existence - the beauty and brutality of human behaviour. This is an unforgettable novel The way she writes (with empathy but never sentimentality) moves my heart Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy Wonderful, sorrowful, haunting, tender, elegiac A gripping page-turner, this apocalyptic tale is given warmth and depth by the portrayal of Neffy, a young woman with a complicated past to which she returns to escape the horrors of the present A woman once undone by empathy now finds that it could be her salvation in Claire Fuller's stunning postapocalyptic novel ... Sobering and evocative, The Memory of Animals is a novel about who we choose to be when the lights go out Claire Fuller is my favourite story-teller. I read The Memory of Animals in one sitting, swept up by the thriller-like pace and the sheer joy of reading a great story. Yet, in the book's aftermath, I was haunted by Neffy's fumbling humanity in the face of loss and fear, and how courage isn't always obvious - even to those who find it. Fuller's books come in at the eyes, but they settle right behind the heart. Full of jeopardy and strangeness but also laced with Fuller's trademark generosity and compassion. A startling and satisfying book Fuller excels in examining the everyday moments at the heart of a life ... A memorable meditation on how the human struggle to survive in captivity is not so different than that of our animal kin A story you'll both recognize from our collective recent past, and a thrilling departure from our reality A haunting novel about love, survival and everything in between ... one to get excited about Brave, unflinching and beautiful Following her award-winning novel Unsettled Ground, Fuller has returned with a piece of stunning speculative fiction A creeping tale of isolation and the dangerous allure of memory A haunting novel of second chances set in a near-future pandemic ... Intricately structured ... The entwined pain and pleasure of memory is at the heart of Neffy's story, as is the hard work of establishing trust and finding forgiveness, particularly for oneself. This is a pandemic novel, yes, but one that radically transcends the label Fuller is an excellent writer and she neatly conveys boredom as well as dread (no mean feat) A riveting exploration of agency, allegiance and choice Fuller's latest work is thought-provoking and unsettling, and somehow strikes a further warning note to a world already in crisis A thought-provoking and utterly compelling novel from a writer we always look forward to reading [A] post-Covid psychological thriller ... takes faintly distubing turns through grimly familiar territory to suggest that what makes us heroic, or not, hinges on unexpected things Compelling ... A riveting, don't-miss account of what some may see as the reality to come; long-time Fuller readers will relish this completely engrossing story, which questions what we value most Compelling ... A timely read ... Fuller is on strong form in evoking the terrors faced by those who are not just marginalised but entirely forgotten by society There's a haunted elegance to Fuller's vision of a fallen world ... Sensuous Expand reviews
Celebrate our 10th Anniversary with giveaways, merch, and more! Learn more