The Greatcoat

The Greatcoat

Paperback

By (author) Helen Dunmore

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  • Publisher: Hammer
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 20mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 4 February 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099564947
  • ISBN 13: 9780099564942
  • Sales rank: 107,356

Product description

In the winter of 1952, Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband Philip, a GP. With Philip spending long hours on call, Isabel finds herself isolated and lonely as she strives to adjust to the realities of married life. Woken by intense cold one night, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hidden in the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under it for warmth, she starts to dream. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled by a knock at her window. Outside is a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in. His name is Alec, and his powerful presence both disturbs and excites her. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin an intense affair. But nothing has prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on hers...

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Author information

Helen Dunmore is an internationally acclaimed writer whose works include novels, poetry, short stories and writing for children. She has won the Orange Prize for A Spell of Winter, the McKitterick Prize and first prize in the National Poetry Competition; she has also been shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Novel Award. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages, and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Greatcoat is her first ghost story.

Review quote

"the best kind of ghostly tale - one that has you pondering its implications - and checking the back of dark cupboards - long after the final page" i, Independent "You won't find plastic fangs or Dulux blood in Helen Dunmore's perfect little ghost story ... Dunmore conveys a shivery menace and concealed tragedy; this is the most elegant literary flesh-creeper since Susan Hill's The Woman in Black." The Times "This is a haunting and exquisitely crafted tale where the line between the real and the imaginary becomes blurred." Glamour "The Greatcoat is a well-written ghost story that observes the traditions of the genre without subsiding into pastiche ... Dunmore uses motifs and themes as a kind of Greek chorus ... these are subtly deployed, and enhance the atmosphere in this disturbing, thoughtful novel." The Literary Review "An atmospheric and accomplished ghost story." Woman & Home

Back cover copy

'There was a man outside the window. An everyday figure, safe as houses, but her heart clenched in fear. It was the look on his face: recognition, a familiarity so deep he didn't have to say a word. But she'd never seen him before in her life.' It is the winter of 1952, and Isabel Carey is struggling to adjust to the realities of married life in Yorkshire. Isolated and lonely, she is also intensely cold. And her husband - a doctor - is rarely home. And then one night she discovers an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard. She puts it on her bed for warmth - and is startled by a knock at her window. Outside is a young man. A pilot. And he wants to come in ... 'Taut and elegantly written' Sunday Times 'Atmospheric and accomplished' Woman & Home 'Haunting and exquisitely crafted' Glamour 'A perfect ghost story' Independent on Sunday