Winner of the 2009 Kafka Prize for Fiction and Finalist for the Commonwealth Prize
Abbe is a restless young mother living on the outskirts of Honolulu with her husband, Greg, the pastor at a small church. Their lives are suddenly riven by tragedy when their three-year-old daughter, Cleo, is struck and killed by car. As Greg turns to God and community for comfort, Abbe turns inward and reflects upon her own troubled past.
Isla Morley brilliantly weaves the story of Abbe's grief with a gripping tale of her tempestuous childhood in apartheid South Africa - and how Abbe's father, a villainous drunk, held her family hostage for decades with his rage, until they finally began to plot their escape from him. Come Sunday is a spellbinding drama about a woman breaking free of her grief and of her past, and what it takes to revive hope when all seems lost.
First published in hardcover in 2009.
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"Intense, unsparing, dark and often downbeat, but distinguished by an impassioned, poetic voice." - Kirkus Reviews
"Starred Review. Firmly establishing her in the pantheon of such insightful authors as Chris Bohjalian, Sue Miller, and Anita Shreve, Morley's poignant, read-in-one-sitting tale of loss and renewal will haunt readers." - Booklist
"A heart-wrenching tale of unthinkable loss and hard-won healing. This is a novel to savor." - Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
"An arresting, heart-wrenching novel...a phenomenal debut." - The San Diego Union-Tribune
"A compelling tale of survival, reinvention, and hope, in the end, Come Sunday is less about the death of a young child as about personal redemption and resurrection.... Vivid and poignant." - The Boston Globe
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Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. During the country's State of Emergency, she graduated from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth with a degree in English Literature. By 1994 she was one of the youngest magazine editors in South Africa, but left career, country and kin when she married an American and moved to California.
For more than a decade she pursued a career in non-profit work, focusing on the needs of women and children. Her debut novel, Come Sunday, was awarded the 2009 Kafka Prize for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. Above, her second novel, was published in March 2014. Selected as a "Best Buzz Books Spring 2014" by PublishersLunch, it has been...
Isla Morley: eye-la
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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