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A thrilling novel - from the author of Ulverton and Between Each Breath - about an English family out of their depth in the wilds of rural France.

Two Cambridge academics, the historians Nick and Sarah Mallinson, take a sabbatical with their three small and lively girls in a remote Languedoc farmhouse. But the farmhouse contains its own histories, far darker and murkier than the Mallinsons are used to dealing with. As the illusion of Eden retreats, the couple begin to feel the vulnerability of being among strangers...


Superior novel...wincingly precise in his imagery and technically adept... An electric and darkly gleeful read

Daily Mail

An immensely clever, tragicomic novel...a rich meditation on past and present colonial politics... What resonates for me is what I greatly admire in all Thorpe's work: the complex depth, and the texture and poetry of his storytelling language

Financial Times

An intimate depiction of family life... Vivid and luminous

Independent on Sunday

Because this is Adam Thorpe, there are only two things you know for certain: that the writing will be gorgeous, silky-smooth; and that the plot will be entirely original, defying categorisation...enjoy

Sunday Telegraph

An intricate fiction which reminds us gently that war wrecks lives in ways too tangled to anticipate

Times Literary Supplement

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Formats & editions

  • The Standing Pool
    Adam Thorpe



    February 22, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

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  • Paperback


    August 3, 2009


    432 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

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    • The Nile

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