Enlightenment

Sarah Perry author

Format:Hardback

Publisher:Vintage Publishing

Published:2nd May '24

£20.00

Available for immediate dispatch.

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Enlightenment cover

A story of love and astronomy told over the course of twenty years through the lives of two improbable best friends

‘Gorgeous... Ethereal’ GUARDIAN
‘A book with cosmic reach' FINANCIAL TIMES
‘A romance worthy of Emily Brontë’ WALL STREET JOURNAL
‘A genre-bending novel of ideas’ TELEGRAPH
'Sarah Perry just gets better and better' INDEPENDENT

Thomas and Grace are fellow worshippers at the Baptist chapel in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. Though separated in age by three decades, the pair are kindred spirits – torn between their commitment to religion and their desire for more. But their friendship is threatened by the arrival of love.

Thomas falls for James Bower, who runs the local museum. Together they develop an obsession with the vanished nineteenth-century female astronomer Maria Veduva, said to haunt a nearby manor. Inspired by Maria, and the dawning realisation James may not reciprocate his feelings, Thomas finds solace studying the night skies. Could astronomy offer as much wonder as divine or earthly love?

Meanwhile Grace meets Nathan, a fellow sixth former who represents a different, wilder kind of life. They are drawn passionately together, but quickly pulled apart, casting Grace into the wider world and far away from Thomas.

In time, the mysteries of Aldleigh are revealed, bringing Thomas and Grace back to each other and to a richer understanding of love, of the nature of the world, and the sheer miracle of being alive.

Gauzy and unhurried, a genteel novel of inner space.It’s luxuriously – defiantly – old-fashioned... Perry has always produced gorgeous prose, and she has found a new, ethereal register in this book * Guardian *
A genre-bending novel of ideas, ghosts and hidden histories... A heartfelt paean to the consolations of the sublime, where religion and science meet * Telegraph *
A rich, surprising book that dazzles and dizzies the reader. It balances reason with belief, excels in both ideas and action, and, though firmly placed in Perry’s homeland of Essex, it’s a book with cosmic reach * Financial Times *
Extraordinary and ambitious... What Perry has done in this layered, intelligent and moving book is to construct a kind of quantum novel, one that asks us to question conventional linear narratives and recognise instead what is ever-present in Perry’s luminous vision of Essex: truth, beauty and love * Observer *
Dazzling… Faith and science can inspire out-of-time cosmic wonder, but as Perry beautifully demonstrates here, so, too, can the novel * Daily Mail *
Tender, ruminative, philosophical * Times Literary Supplement *
Sarah Perry just gets better and better… A fat, satisfying, grown-up novel – rich in plot, characters, ideas, structure, and atmosphere… It hangs together as a resplendent whole, shining like a night sky * Independent *
Gorgeously written… A beautiful, compassionate and memorable book, one that will repay reading more than once * New Scientist *
Perry has returned with another cracker. A dazzling novel, full of big ideas about religion and science, love and friendship * i *
Once again Sarah Perry has gifted us with an ambitious story impeccably imagined in poignant prose; a beautifully nuanced novel of love in all its aspects, artfully marrying faith and science into something truly beguiling -- Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of Pandora

ISBN: 9781787334991

Dimensions: 245mm x 160mm x 35mm

Weight: 620g

400 pages