The First Time Lauren Pailing Died

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What to expect


The Times


Lauren Pailing is born in the sixties, and a child of the seventies. She is thirteen years old the first time she dies.

Lauren Pailing is a teenager in the eighties, becomes a Londoner in the nineties. And each time she dies, new lives begin for the people who loved her – while Lauren enters a brand new life, too.

But in each of Lauren’s lives, a man called Peter Stanning disappears. And, in each of her lives, Lauren sets out to find him.

And so it is that every ending is also a beginning. And so it is that, with each new beginning, Peter Stanning inches closer to finally being found…

Perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell, The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a book about loss, grief – and how, despite it not always feeling that way, every ending marks the start of something new.

Critics Review

  • ‘A stylish time-slip story à la Sliding Doors’ Guardian (hottest-tipped debuts of 2019)

    ‘Written with a tender touch, it’s an impressive debut’ Woman’s Own

    ‘Assured an intriguing… emotionally charged’ Daily Mail

    ‘A page turner of a debut’ Grazia

    ‘Alyson Rudd explores love and loss with nuance’ i newspaper

    ‘Stylish, alluring, utterly gripping. An intricate, elegantly written time-slip tale that keeps you guessing until the last page.’ Lisa O’Kelly, Observer

    ‘[A] sweetly sad study of grief, death and loss’ Irish Independent

    ‘Stunning, moving and very clever’ Mark Lawson

    ‘Beautiful, extremely moving and expertly done, with a lightness of touch that belies the complexity behind the plotting. I loved it (and I cried several times!)’ Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

    ‘Intriguing … an impressive debut’ Woman

    ‘A mystery, a romance, a time-slip. But most of all it is a delight … Lauren is a constant character, captivating our hearts’ My Weekly

    ‘A wonderful novel. The story weaves in and out of the timelines effortlessly…brilliantly paced’ Katie S (Netgalley)

    ‘A very clever book and one which I enjoyed very much’ Debra F (Netgalley)

    ‘Where the novel really succeeds is in the delineation of love and loss, of growing and diminishing, of grief and mourning. The way in which [Alyson Rudd] conveys difficult emotions through dialogue is the real highlight of this story’ Sarah D (Netgalley)

    ‘From the opening pages, the tale shimmers with grief, loss and enough period detail to lend authenticity to what is, after all, a slightly incredible (in the truest sense) story. Claims of echoes of Kate Atkinson and Maggie O’Farrell are entirely justified. Tender, evocative, affecting and utterly gorgeous’ Ophelia S (Netgalley)

    ‘Thought-provoking and beautifully written. I loved it’ Sheri K (Netgalley)

    ‘Unforgettable’ Alexander H (Netgalley)

    ‘5* – irresistible’ Lucy G (Netgalley)

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