Reviews

  • "Beautifully, psychologically exact. Leviston reveals, confronts, disarms and pares us from our unwitting, falser selves. Superbly written and fearlessly imagined fiction."

    Sarah Hall
  • "A remarkable work of fiction – the idea behind it is both brilliant and simple, but it is the execution that brings it off so unsettlingly well. Leviston writes with lacerating psychological accuracy, and has a poet's sense for the details that give us – and so much more than us – away. In The Voice in my Ear, the dark undercurrents of our most ordinary relationships are exposed through a series of perfect plots and haunting character studies."

    Patrick McGuinness
  • "A beautiful, brilliant, painful book. It is subtly but unignorably haunting, and its power builds and builds – Leviston has such a clear grasp of the most difficult aspects of being human, and being a woman, from sexual dynamics to surviving your own family. Darkly comic and quietly, devastatingly urgent."

    Daisy Buchanan
  • "Superb. Elegant, enthralling, often frightening, Leviston walks the dangerous edge of desire and discovery in women's lives."

    Adam Foulds
  • "Frances Leviston’s prose, like her poetry, is as illuminating as it is unsettling. Her narratives are all about what remains unsaid and the silent inexorable falling into place of deep truth."

    Lavinia Greenlaw
  • "The Voice in My Ear is so devastatingly perceptive and intimidatingly accomplished in a range of modes that it's hard to sit still while you're reading; often I found myself pacing up and down the hallway in raptures at the quality of the prose or terror at the exquisitely harrowing turn of the plot. Aside from the formal mastery, Leviston is fearless in facing difficult truths of which lesser writers never even get within telescopic range. Uncompromising and stricken but delivered through beautiful observation and unrivalled emotional and intellectual insight."

    Luke Kennard
  • "What an extraordinary book, so dense with understanding about personhood and relatedness, about connection, disconnection and unconnection. Frances Leviston puts her distinctive and compelling style at the service of a precise, sinuous, at times agonisingly subcutaneous storytelling. There's a clarity and superobservancy of the everyday that she conveys along with 'the sorrow that never was said': the hidden, the unspeakable, that shapes so much of experience."

    David Hayden
  • "This heated, haunted debut is about the dark, violent knots we carry inside ourselves – and what happens when they start to unravel. A lyric, frightening portrayal of what it means to move through the world in female form."

    Sue Rainsford
  • "The absorbing stories that make up Frances Leviston's The Voice in My Ear do what fiction does best, swimming deep in complexity and ambivalence. A work of high emotional intelligence and narrative control."

    Rob Doyle
  • "Absolutely exquisite, combining just the right amount of sweet and sour. The characters in The Voice in my Ear haunted me long after I'd finished reading. Leviston has an uncanny ability to turn a small moment into a kind of meditation on humanity."

    Jan Carson