The Stranding


4.33 (1,575 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A poignant and page turning apocalyptic tale of the foibles, strengths and hopes of humanity. I was gripped, both terrified and emotional throughout and I loved every minute of it.' SIMON SAVIDGE

'An immersive end of the world story full of hope and imagination' THE GUARDIAN

'A terrific debut. Brave, unexpected... transfixing and captivating... full of hope, resilience and love' THE SUNDAY TIMES

'Holds the big within the small, the intimate within the epic' - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies

'A captivating read' THE SUN

'GORGEOUS and original and captivating' - Marian Keyes, international bestselling author of Grown Ups

'A captivating read... (a) beautiful, surprising novel' FABULOUS

'A novel that has stayed with me for weeks afterwards . . . Perceptive and unflinching' - Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

'A quiet, piercing contemplation on what really matters when it comes to the end of the world. Strange and beautiful' - Abigail Dean, author of Girl A

'Beautiful and harrowing but also optimistic and extremely moving . . . a truly arresting depiction of an unlikely relationship' - Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

'I didn't want this book to end. It blew me away, and moved me beyond belief' - Bryony Gordon, author of Mad Girl



Ruth lives in the heart of the city. Working, drinking, falling in love: the rhythm of her vivid and complicated life is set against a background hum of darkening news reports from which she deliberately turns away.

When a new romance becomes claustrophobic, Ruth chooses to leave behind the failing relationship, but also her beloved friends and family, and travels to the other side of the world in pursuit of her dream life working with whales in New Zealand.

But when Ruth arrives, the news cycle she has been ignoring for so long is now the new reality. Far from home and with no real hope of survival, she finds herself climbing into the mouth of a beached whale alongside a stranger. When she emerges, it is to a landscape that bears no relation to the world they knew before.

When all has been razed to the ground, what does it mean to build a life?

The Stranding is a story about the hope that can remain even when the world is changed beyond recognition.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 38mm | 460g
  • Coronet Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529340667
  • 9781529340662
  • 141,037

Review Text

What a fabulous piece of storytelling. So original and compelling and Kate Sawyer writes like a dream
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Review quote

It's GORGEOUS and original and captivating . . . Beautiful writing and characters I cared for as if they were my own family * Marian Keyes, international bestselling author of Grown Ups * Brilliant and original, THE STRANDING illuminates the beauty and fragility of humanity with a story so immersive and tender; I was surprised to find myself still in familiar surroundings when I surfaced from it. Kate Sawyer masterfully weaves a gripping narrative between a world disappeared and a world that must begin anew in this ultimately hopeful tale of love, loss and survival in the face of overwhelming odds. With characters you'll be thinking about long after the end, THE STRANDING is an absolute must read! Get one for yourself and one for a friend * Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder * The Stranding is the perfect book, both intellectually stimulating and a page-turner. Kate Sawyer's writing awakened all of my senses, transported me into other worlds. I could not put it down * Olia Hercules, author of Summer Kitchens * What a fabulous piece of storytelling. So original and compelling and Kate Sawyer writes like a dream * Julie Owen Moylan, author * The Stranding is a breathtaking book about relationships, love and human resilience at the end of the world; it's beautifully written and I know I'll be thinking about it for a very long time! * Lex Croucher, author of Reputation * Powerful, atmospheric and utterly transfixing * Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne * An extremely powerful, bold but unassuming book about connection, the planet, sexuality and family * Alice Ash, author of Paradise Block * Sensitive, gripping, thought-provoking and edifying, THE STRANDING is a book of our times, and reminds us that no life lives forever; how precious our moments are * Laura Carlin, author of The Wicked Cometh and Requiem for a Knave * A beautiful, heart-wrenching, moving novel. The depth of love, passion and authentic feeling amongst the backdrop of a bleak post-apocalyptic world is quite extraordinary * Susannah Wise, author of This Fragile Earth * The Stranding is an original, compelling and brilliantly written story. I loved the dual timelines of 'before' and 'after' and could not put it down. It's a thought-provoking and timely read, about hope, survival and the human spirit * Aliya Ali-Afzal, author of Would I Lie To You * A truly unique and gripping read * Marianne Cronin, author The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot * It is extraordinary, and quietly revolutionary, for a novel centred around the end of the world to feel so affirming, so luminous, so hopeful. In both the Before and After times, Ruth's seeking of what it is that matters is moving, complex, and vividly drawn. I've not stopped thinking about The Stranding since I put it down * Kate Young, author of The Little Library Cookbook * Kate Sawyer has created a dystopia so unerringly familiar that it can make you laugh and shiver simultaneously. Sensual and hopeful, this is a pacey and surprisingly relatable read * Gemma Reeves, author of Victoria Park * Post-apocalyptic fiction that's beautiful, moving and strangely uplifting * Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man * Haunting and hopeful. Eerie and evocative * Jacqueline Bublitz, author of Before You Knew My Name * A tender, affirming, luminous debut * Melinda Salisbury, author of Hold Back the Tide * A beautiful exploration of motherhood, stripped back to its barest, most fragile bones * Polly Crosby, author of THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD * I didn't want this book to end. It blew me away, and moved me beyond belief. I want to read it again and again and again * Bryony Gordon, author of Mad Girl * A stunning, unforgettable novel that I can't stop thinking about. A truly brilliant debut * Katherine Webber, author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart * This book is quite devastating but still left me with a gorgeous feeling of hope. The perfect blend of love, life and apocalypse * Emer McLysaght, author Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling * Original, visceral, rich with themes of refuge and redemption, it's a beautifully imagined story about the hiding places in our hearts and minds * Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters. * The Stranding is a soaring, lyrical and contemplative vision of the end of humanity. A beautiful story about learning to love yourself and others, and of experiencing the end of the world at the ends of the earth * Bethany Clift, author of Last One At The Party * Beautiful and harrowing but also optimistic and extremely moving . . . a truly arresting depiction of an unlikely relationship * Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other * Wholly original, haunting and beautiful, this is a novel about life and survival, death and grief plus everything in between * Neema Shah, author of Kololo Hill * This book absolutely captivated me. Ruth's story is full of love and hope, but is also brutally honest about mistakes, regrets and missteps, and how they impact our lives. The Stranding felt completely real, while being almost unimaginable. A unique, imaginative story that's brilliantly told. And a book that will stay with me for a very long time. * Jamie Fewery, author of Our Life in a Day * A quiet, piercing contemplation on what really matters when it comes to the end of the world. Strange and beautiful * Abigail Dean, author of Girl A * Kate Sawyer brings her settings to life - both the Before and After - with vivid detail. Peopled with characters that challenge stereotypes and linger in the mind long after reading, this is a moving story of love, loss and, despite all, hope. I loved it * Elizabeth Lee author of Cunning Women * Beautifully written, it's truly something special * Stylist * Incredibly moving, totally gripping and (considering it's about the end of the world and living in a dead whale) strangely relatable * Ellie Taylor, author of My Child and Other Mistakes * A truly original and moving debut * Charlotte Northedge, author of The House Guest * An exceptional debut * Yorkshire Times * A terrific debut. Brave, unexpected . . . transfixing and captivation . . . full of hope, resilience and love * The Sunday Times * A captivating read . . . [a] beautiful, surprising novel * Fabulous Magazine * Captivating and strangely hopeful * Waitrose Weekend Magazine * A captivating read * Sun * A compelling tale of what it means to be alive. It breaks your heart while filling it with hope. Kate's writing is beautiful * Grazia's Book Club * Sawyer's debut is an assured and intriguing character drama * SFX * Sawyer has done an especially brilliant job . . . a spellbinding fantasy of trading past mistakes for a clean start * Daily Mirror *
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About Kate Sawyer

Kate Sawyer worked as an actor and producer before turning her hand to fiction. She has previously written for theatre and short-film. Having lived in South London for the best part of two decades she recently returned to East Anglia to have her first child as a solo mother by choice.
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Rating details

1,575 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
5 51% (797)
4 35% (558)
3 11% (177)
2 2% (35)
1 1% (8)
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