Withdrawn, uneducated, and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda.
When he wins the pools, he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.
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This is a masterpiece of a first novel.
Bizarre and powerful. A compelling portrait of intriguing self-delusion.
Wilby slips into the role so effortlessly that one easily forgets that it isn't actually Ferdinand Clegg telling the story. Wilby should be nominated for an award.
- Erica Smith