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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

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‘A highly enjoyable story about female resilience… with a twist that is all the more compelling for its unexpectedness’ Sunday Times

‘She’s such a skilful storyteller, who vividly dramatizes our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion’ Bernardine Evaristo

‘Amanda Craig anatomises the state of the nation with wit and empathy’ Jonathan Coe

‘An irresistible summer read’ Guardian

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

When Hannah is invited into the first-class carriage of the London to Penzance train, she walks into a spider’s web. Now a poor young single mother, she once escaped Cornwall to go to university, but after marriage to Jake her dreams turned to bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for a rich woman, and Hannah has survived by working as a cleaner. Jinni is equally angry, 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 house she meets its shambolic caretaker, who claims Jinni is very different to the person Hannah had been led to believe. Who is telling the truth – and what will become of the women’s pact to commit a terrible crime?

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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
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
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
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
Such an interesting read! . . . A story of lies - and learning that people aren't always who they appear to be
Nina Pottell, Prima
Addictive . . . a wide-ranging, incisive portrait of contemporary Britain
Strangers on a Train meets #MeToo
Sunday Times
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
Clever and compelling, The Golden Rule is a modern mash-up of Rebecca and Strangers on a Train
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
A pacy state-of-the-nation drama that tackles issues from domestic abuse to workplace harassment, gentrification to the gig economy
Mail on Sunday
A typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner about two women who decide to murder each other's husbands
Daily Mail
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
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
Perceptive and wise, particularly on the ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor
We reckon this cracker of a novel about the "haves" and the "have-nots" will whip you into a page-turning frenzy
Sunday Post
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
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
She's such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion
Bernardine Evaristo