*WINNER OF THE PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE 2018*
My younger brother’s name is Nicholas Beard. He was nine years old, and I was with him in the water when he drowned.
Life changes in an instant.
On a family holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Richard and Nicholas are in the sea, jumping the waves. Suddenly and inexplicably Nicholas is out of his depth and then, shockingly, so is Richard. Only one of the brothers returns to the shore.
Richard does not attend Nicholas’s funeral and afterwards the family return to Cornwall to continue the holiday. Soon they stop speaking of that day at the beach altogether. Years later, haunted by grief, Richard sets out to piece together the story. Who was Nicholas? What really happened that day? And why did the family never speak of it again?
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2018
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2018
‘This captivating book, both heart-rending and jaw-dropping, unfolds like a detective story’ Daily Mail
‘A memoir of real truth and heartbreaking emotional heft’ Sunday Times
"A memoir of real truth and heartbreaking emotional heft"
"This captivating book, both heart-rending and jaw-dropping, unfolds like a detective story"
"A touching, painful disquisition on memory and forgetting and the tendrils that tie us to the past"
"Clear-eyed, very sad, funny at times and, despite the story it tells, ultimately uplifting in its determination to confront buried truths."