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A new novel from Bethan Roberts – a brilliant recreation of the early life of Elvis Presley, the making of ‘the King’, and a heartbreaking portrait of the very intense love between him and his mother, Gladys

What happens when your only son becomes The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll?

From the moment she first holds him, after his twin brother is stillborn, Gladys Presley loves her son Elvis ferociously. She will be his greatest influence, the love of his life. She will be the one by his side, when Elvis is a boy and his father is in the jailhouse; as the family move from place to place, skirting poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi; as Elvis’s obsession with music grows; as they move to Memphis and he begins his whirlwind rise to never-before-seen success…

And he will love her back, even as his heart is turned by the blues, clothes and girls. But while he makes it big in Hollywood, brings audiences across the land to their knees and achieves unimagined wealth and fame, there is another story – of drinking and diet pills, loneliness and loss. While the heat and music of the American South in the 40s and 50s play in the background, a heartbreaking portrait of a mother’s love and a son’s devotion takes centre stage. When Elvis reaches the height of his power, he buys his family the ultimate mansion on the hill, Graceland, where he hopes his mother will be happy. The reality, though, is very different, and Elvis finds that even kings must go on alone.

'Graceland is an astonishing literary achievement. Bethan Roberts somehow manages to unlock the mystery to that beautiful sadness in the voice of Elvis. Utterly heartbreaking.' Jake Arnott

Reviews

Graceland is an astonishing literary achievement. Bethan Roberts somehow manages to unlock the mystery to that beautiful sadness in the voice of Elvis. Utterly heartbreaking.

Jake Arnott

One is always in safe hands with Bethan Roberts, especially when the subject is love.

Lynne Truss

Bethan Roberts grew up in a house filled with Elvis’s music and pored over her mother’s Elvis annuals and scrapbooks as a child… its emotional range rings true and its fidelity to a certain strain of wistful melancholy might go deeper than facts... an understated, thoughtful novel about a man who wore suits fashioned from gold leaf on stage, which occasionally prompts the reader to burst into song.

Susie Boyt, Financial Times

Roberts has done her research and is a loving curator of the legend, but she’s strong, too on the tiny sensual details, which intensify the up-close feel of this sensitive, measured novel

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

A beautifully captured portrait

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

Roberts… mournful, yearning account of the King’s making is well executed… it vividly conveys his world

Sunday Times

Roberts is an exceptionally tender and empathetic writer, and the story of Elvis Presley and his relationship with his mother is one ripe for her skills… both epic and intimate

Grazia

Extraordinarily moving

Choice

This is an impressive, deceptively gentle novel, full of quiet music and even quieter tragedy

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781784742485

    February 19, 2019

    Chatto & Windus

    432 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473556522

    February 7, 2019

    Vintage Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo

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