Lulu Allison’s first book, Twice the Speed of Dark will be published on 24 November 2017 by Unbound.
“Twice the Speed of Dark is both lyrical and cerebral, exploring grief and loss from wholly original perspectives. It investigates how grief impacts on our humanity with a sharp clarity. It is a highly accomplished debut from a writer with a genuinely original outlook.”
Suzanne Harrington, journalist and author of The Liberty Tree.
Here is the wonderful cover, created by Mark Ecob of Mecob Design. I am so impressed with the way he has managed to convey different aspects of the book. When we first spoke he said he was interested in the idea of different world, the Chiltern Hills that Anna wanders, the perplexing dark of Caitlin’s death where she tries to reel in her story, the in-between life of invented ghosts. And I think he has captured that brilliantly.
I also like the background, hints of both news stories and handwriting. Those represent where the book started and I am glad they are part of the cover.
In an isolated house surrounded by fields and woodland, Anna sits at her kitchen table, her cramped writing fills the notebook in front of her steadily, inexorably – people die at such a rate.
Anna scans the news for reports in which the victims of war or terror are presented only as a number. Dismayed by the indifference in the news items to people who die in distant lands, she writes portraits, one for each of the victims, in an attempt to acknowledge the real impact of their deaths. Her own life is held in check, restrained by grief. It is only in this vigil, this act of love for strangers, that she allows herself an emotional connection to the world.
Her daughter Caitlin had wanted to be an engineer, to build bridges. But she was killed on the eve of her twentieth birthday by her violent boyfriend. Since her death Caitlin has been subject to a perplexing dark odyssey, pushed and pulled past stars and distant planets. Sometimes, with sweet relief she finds herself once more held by gravity, as the unpredictable journey brings her briefly back to the earth. She pieces together her story, combining what she has learnt since her death and what she knew before, until she is finally able to reclaim herself from the debilitating effects of the violence that eventually ended her life, freeing herself at last.
With the release from prison of Caitlin’s killer, Anna’s uneasy equilibrium is thrown into disarray and she falls into long-suppressed fury and mental breakdown. As Caitlin is able to free herself from the tyranny of violence, will Anna be able to unburden the debilitations of grief and live her life with love and happiness once more?
Here are some images with quotes from the book. Please do feel free to share away!