The Kindness: Book summary and reviews of The Kindness by Polly Samson

The Kindness

by Polly Samson

The Kindness by Polly Samson X
The Kindness by Polly Samson
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2015
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

He followed her eyes skyward to a bird that was falling, turning and turning, like a heart that had leapt free. It fell, and as it did it became a falcon. He was transfixed.

Julian's fall begins the moment he sets eyes on Julia.

Julia is married and eight years his senior; he is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends, they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born.

When Julian hears that Firdaws, his adored boyhood home, is for sale, he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives.

Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal that is clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal, and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Broken relationships and damaging silences, presented from deliberately misleading angles, add up to a readable, clever, teasing, but naggingly overcomplicated story." - Kirkus

"Beautifully written, filled with warmth and humor, The Kindness is a powerful novel exploring the complexities of love and the nature of human relationships." - Booklist

"Samson, creates a moving portrait of a family torn by the stress of a sick child - and a sensuous, lyrical account of a failed marriage." - Publishers Weekly

Cumulatively addictive: intriguing, cleverly structured, lyrical without pretension and thoroughly engrossing. The book is hard to put down ... As a second novel, this really was worth the wait." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"Lush, lyrical prose. The Kindness is to be read more than once, not merely to enjoy again the beauty of the writing and the considerable insights into human experience, but to test the earlier narrative with the knowledge of what is to come." - The Independent (UK)

"The Kindness wears its structural complexity lightly, the voice and the pace so assured that it seems remarkable that this is only Samson's second novel." - The Observer (UK)

"Samson is a richly sensory writer. A sumptuous, serious story about how an act of immense love can at the same time be one of terrible betrayal, and how we deceive ourselves as much as we deceive one another." - The Daily Mail (UK)

"Polly Samson is a writer of great insight and sensitivity; her novel is moving, wistful, wise and ultimately hopeful; grown-up in all the right ways, but still with a simplicity that comes directly from the heart." - Joanne Harris

This information about The Kindness shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Polly Samson

Polly Samson was born in London in 1962. She is the author of two highly acclaimed story collections and a novel, Out of the Picture, which was shortlisted for the Author Club's First Novel Award. Her most recent collection of linked stories, Perfect Lives, was a Sunday Times Fiction Choice of the Year. Samson lives in Sussex.

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