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The Golden Rule

Women's Prize for Fiction, 2021

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781408711507

Price: £8.99

ON SALE: 2nd July 2020

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

A Times, Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Mail and Financial Times Best Book of 2020 Pick

‘A highly enjoyable story about female resilience and finding fulfilment on your own terms’ Sunday Times

‘An irresistible summer read’ Guardian Book of the Day

A typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner’ Daily Mail

She’s such a skilful storyteller’ Bernardine Evaristo

When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider’s web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other’s husbands. After all, they are strangers on a train – who could possibly connect them?

But when Hannah goes to Jinni’s husband’s home the next night, she finds Stan, a huge, hairy, ugly drunk who has his own problems – not least the care of a half-ruined house and garden. He claims Jinni is a very different person to the one who has persuaded Hannah to commit a terrible crime. Who is telling the truth – and who is the real victim?

Praise for Amanda Craig

‘Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny’ India Knight
‘As satisfying a novel as I have read in years’ Sarah Perry
‘Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now working in Britain’ Alison Lurie

Reviews

The plot becomes so gripping - the sort of story where you want to pull the heroine out of the pages away from danger .
The Times
Such an interesting read! . . . A story of lies - and learning that people aren't always who they appear to be
Nina Pottell, Prima
I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed The Golden Rule - evening reading that I looked forward to for days. Such a strong narrative, constantly taking you by surprise, persuasive setting, Hannah a sympathetic central figure - and the clash between different lifestyles. Very much a novel of our times
Penelope Lively
The Golden Rule does what her novels do best, wrapping the reader in a tight, lean narrative, showing the strangeness that lies at the heart of normal-seeming lives
Observer
Craig's ninth novel is one of her best. A clever take on Beauty and the Beast and Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, it is also an astute commentary on life in Cornwall and the widening gap between the city rich and rural poor
The i
A typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner about two women who decide to murder each other's husbands
Daily Mail
An acute and passionate observer of society in both town and country, and among rich and poor. She is harrowingly good at portraying the corrosive effects of poverty, particularly on vulnerable women with children to protect. Her prose is a delight...Best of all, Craig has the knack of creating interesting characters and of making one care about what lies in store for them. If you can do that, nothing else really matters
Andrew Taylor, Spectator
Clever and compelling, The Golden Rule is a modern mash-up of Rebecca and Strangers on a Train
Red
A pacy state-of-the-nation drama that tackles issues from domestic abuse to workplace harassment, gentrification to the gig economy
Mail on Sunday
Addictive . . . a wide-ranging, incisive portrait of contemporary Britain
Independent
We reckon this cracker of a novel about the "haves" and the "have-nots" will whip you into a page-turning frenzy
Sunday Post
A highly enjoyable story about female resilience and finding fulfilment on your own terms, with a twist that is all the more compelling for its unexpectedness
Sunday Times
Perceptive and wise, particularly on the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor
Independent
A tight, lean thriller about two women who decide to murder each other's husbands. Dotted throughout are Craig's acute observations of society, in particular the corrosive effects of poverty. Yet this skilful storyteller is never preachy. We are swept along because of her knack of creating characters we care about. Only on closing the book do we realise we've not just been entertained but made to think too
Rachel Kelly, The Tablet
I really enjoyed The Golden Rule. I still love novels that have proper, well-constructed plots and Amanda Craig is a delicious storyteller
Rose Tremain
If you like your novels wide-ranging, ambitious, socially panoramic, and engaged in the most important issues of the day, Amanda Craig is the writer for you. For more than twenty years now she has been anatomising the state of the British nation with wit and empathy
Jonathan Coe
An irresistible summer read: a rollicking plot, a heroine who is more than a match for anything the author throws at her and meaty social issues
Guardian Book of the Day
She's such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion
Bernardine Evaristo
Strangers on a Train meets #MeToo
Sunday Times