Enlightenment

Enlightenment

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Enlightenment is a story of love and astronomy, told over the course of twenty years through the lives of two improbable best friends


Thomas Hart and Grace Macaulay have lived all their lives in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. Though separated in age by three decades, the pair are kindred spirits - torn between their commitment to religion and their desire for more. But their friendship is threatened by the arrival of romantic love.

Thomas falls for James Bower, who runs the local museum. Together they develop an obsession with the vanished nineteenth-century astronomer said to haunt a nearby manor, and whose identity might finally be revealed when a startling discovery is made. As Thomas fears a broken heart, he comes to find solace in astronomy: might it offer as much as earthly or even divine love? Meanwhile Grace meets Nathan, a fellow sixth former. They are drawn recklessly together, but quickly pulled apart, casting Grace into the wider world and far away from Thomas.

In time, the mysteries of Aldleigh are revealed, bringing Thomas and Grace back to each other and to a richer understanding of love, of the nature of the world and their place in it.

This ambitious novel about love and faith and science is Sarah Perry's finest work to date.

'Hugely talented'
SARAH WATERS, author of FINGERSMITH

'Here is a writer who understands life'
JESSIE BURTON, author of THE MINIATURIST

©2024 Sarah Perry (P)2024 Penguin Audio

Reviews

  • Gauzy and unhurried, a genteel novel of inner space. It’s luxuriously – defiantly – old-fashioned... Perry has always produced gorgeous prose, and she has found a new, ethereal register in this book
    Guardian

About the author

Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry is the internationally best-selling author of the novels Melmoth, The Essex Serpent and After Me Comes the Flood, and the non-fiction Essex Girls. She is a winner of the Waterstone’s Book of the Year Award and the British Book of the Year Award and has been nominated for major literary prizes including the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Folio Prize and the Costa Novel Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has a PhD in Creative Writing.
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