A darkly funny novel set between a London film set and a villa in the south of France - a mix of Vertigo and Jonathan Coe, written by a master storyteller
Celebrated director Jack Drake can't get through his latest film (his most personal yet) without his wife Martha's support. The only problem is, she's dead...
When Jack sees Betty Dean - actress, mother, trainwreck - playing the part of a crazed nun on stage in an indie production of The Devils , he is struck dumb by her resemblance to Martha. Desperate to find a way to complete his masterpiece, he hires her to go and stay in his house in France and resuscitate Martha in the role of 'loving spouse'.
But as Betty spends her days roaming the large, sunlit rooms of Jack's mansion - filled to the brim with odd treasures and the occasional crucifix - and her evenings playing the part of Martha over scripted video calls with Jack, she finds her method acting taking her to increasingly dark places.
And as Martha comes back to life, she carries with her the truth about her suicide - and the secret she guarded until the end.
PRAISE FOR DAVID THEWLIS' FICTION
'David Thewlis has written an extraordinarily good novel, which is not only brilliant in its own right, but stands proudly beside his work as an actor, no mean boast' Billy Connolly
'Hilarious and horror-filled' Francesca Segal, Observer
'A fine study in character disintegration... Very funny' David Baddiel, The Times
'Exquisitely written with a warm heart and a wry wit... Stunning' Elle
'Queasily entertaining' Financial Times
'A sharp ear for dialogue and a scabrously satiric prose style' Daily Mail
'Laugh-out-loud, darkly intelligent' Publishers Weekly
'This is far more than an actor's vanity project: Thewlis has talent' Kirkus
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