The Unravelling

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What to expect

A darkly beautiful dual-timeline novel with a captivating mystery, for fans of Diane Setterfield, Kate Morton, Kate Mosse and Kiran Millwood Hargrave

’Like a surreal cabinet of curiosities – haunting, eerie, evocative’ Bridget Collins, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Binding

‘This moving tale is set in a mesmerising world’ Heat

’Polly Crosby whips up a lush, mythical world in this dream-like novel . . . A book worm’s treat!’ Eve Chase, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Glass House

When Tartelin Brown accepts a job with the reclusive Marianne Stourbridge, she finds herself on a wild island with a mysterious history.

Tartelin is tasked with hunting butterflies for Marianne’s research. But she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing than the curious creatures that inhabit the landscape.

Because the island and Marianne share a remarkable history, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars, and some terrible secrets.

As Tartelin pieces together Marianne’s connection to the island, she must confront her own reasons for being there. Can the two women finally face up to the painful memories that bind them so tightly to the past?

Atmospheric and deeply emotional, The Unravelling is the captivating novel from the author of The Illustrated Child.

***Early reader reviews***

‘I absolutely loved The Unravelling, and there is something really special about Crosby’s beautiful and immersive storytelling’

‘A beautiful haunting and uniquely captivating book’

‘If you enjoyed The Lost Apothecary or The Mermaid of Black Conch, then this is definitely for you’

‘A gorgeously written story, atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful. Captivating and totally immersive. It is one for those that like delving into mysteries of the past, to discover more about a family and to discover the secrets’

Critics Review

  • ‘Like a surreal cabinet of curiosities – haunting, eerie, evocative.’ Bridget Collins, author of The Binding

    ‘Polly Crosby whips up a lush, mythical world . . . realised beautifully in vivid writing. A book worm’s treat!’ Eve Chase, author of The Glass House

    ‘This moving tale is set in a mesmerising world. Like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, the story emerges slowly, allowing you to immerse yourself in its wonders.’ Heat

    ‘A luminous and beautiful novel that gently lures the reader into a captivating story with a mystery at its heart.’ Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

    ‘Rich and evocative storytelling is at the heart of this beautifully atmospheric book.’ My Weekly

    ‘A beautifully written tale of butterflies, secrets and silk’ Sonia Velton, author of Blackberry and Wild Rose

    ‘Immersive, atmospheric and so very imaginative.’ Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding

    ‘Polly Crosby is a skilled storyteller, drawing the reader in . . . Will keep you enthralled’ Elizabeth Lee, author of Cunning Women

    ‘Dreamy image after image, The Unravelling is like a series of beautiful paintings’ Sara Sheridan, author of The Fair Botanists

    ‘Fluid and poetic … the story is of butterflies and silkworms, of flying free and being pinned, of characters and landscapes concealing layer upon layer of tightly wound secrets which eventually unspool in a series of dramatic metamorphosis.’
    Norfolk Magazine

    ‘Utterly transporting. Polly Crosby plunges us into a hauntingly beautiful landscape with complex and compelling characters.’ Annabel Abbs, author of The Language of Food

    ‘Imaginative and intriguing, this is packed with tender moments.’ Woman’s Weekly

    ‘Mysterious and suspenseful, The Unravelling is a story of visceral beauty and the transformations life undergoes to survive.’ A. J. Gnuse, author of The Girl in the Walls

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