“Lyrical and haunting . . . A beautiful portrait of urban loneliness, and the pursuit of meaning amid the barbed comforts of solitude.” —The Economist
Marie’s job as a security guard at the National Gallery in London offers her the life she always wanted, one of invisibility and quiet contemplation. But through the hushed corridors of England’s largest art museum surge currents of history and violence. For in this hall filled with paintings whose power belies their own fragility, there also lingers the legacy of Marie’s great-grandfather Ted, himself a museum guard. Decades earlier, he slipped and fell moments before reaching the suffragette Mary Richardson as she took a blade to one of the gallery’s masterpieces on the eve of the First World War.
After nine years on the job, Marie begins to feel the tug of restlessness. A decisive change comes in the form of a winter trip to Paris—where, with the arrival of an uninvited guest and an unexpected encounter, her carefully contained world will be torn open . . .
The follow-up to Chloe Aridjis’s “charming and unconventional debut, Book of Clouds” (The Independent), Asunder is a “captivating, cerebral novel” (Booklist) of beguiling depths and beautiful strangeness, exploring the delicate balance between creation and destruction, control and surrender.
“[An] oddly compelling tale . . . Dark and peculiar, simultaneously sinister and playful, Aridjis’ modern gothic vision will charm those prepared to linger in her cabinet of curiosities.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Dramatic and affecting, completely coherent and oddly irresistible. It is a brilliant book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review