SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2021 DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE
The best novel I’ve read in a long time’ Roddy Doyle
The lives of two women – the sole survivor of an airplane crash and the troubled park ranger who leads the rescue mission to find her – intersect in a gripping debut novel of second thoughts and second chances
I no longer pass judgment on any man nor woman. People are people, and I do not believe there is much more to be said on the matter. Twenty years ago I might have been of a different mind about that, but I was a different Cloris Waldrip back then. I might have gone on being that same Cloris Waldrip, the one I had been for seventy-two years, had I not fallen out of the sky in that little airplane on Sunday, August 31, 1986. It does amaze that a woman can reach the tail end of her life and find that she hardly knows herself at all.
When seventy-two-year-old Cloris Waldrip finds herself lost and alone in the unforgiving wilderness of the Montana mountains, with only a bible, a sturdy pair of boots, and a couple of candies to keep her alive, it seems her chances of ever getting home to Texas are slim.
Debra Lewis, a park ranger, who is drinking her way out of the aftermath of a messy divorce is the only one who believes the old lady may still be alive. Galvanized by her newfound mission to find her, Lewis leads a motley group of rescuers to follow the trail of clues that Cloris has left behind.
But as days stretch into weeks, and Cloris’s situation grows ever more precarious, help arrives from the unlikeliest of places, causing her to question all the certainties on which she has built her life.
Suspenseful, wry and gorgeously written Kingdomtide is the inspiring account of two unforgettable characters, whose heroism reminds us that survival is only the beginning.
‘Suspenseful from start to finish … First novels are often praised for an author’s potential, but Kingdomtide displays an exceptional talent fully realized’ Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena
Reviews of Kingdomtide
- ‘I read a lot of very good fiction but this novel – so startling and thrilling, so packed with such wonderful characters – is the best novel I’ve read in a long time’ Roddy Doyle, author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
- ‘A truly spectacular first novel: weird, tender, funny, grotesque –above all, deeply, achingly human. It tugged at my thoughts during the days I spent reading it, and has made for itself a permanent place in my memory’ Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit From the Good Squad
- ‘Gripping reading…dark and witty’ Daily Mail
- ‘Captivating… Personal histories, tragedy, resilience, superstition and inner strength intertwine leaving the reader swept up in the current of its haunting and magnetic writing.’ Stylist
- ‘First novels are often praised for an author’s potential, but Kingdomtide displays a talent fully realized. Cloris Waldrip’s trek through the wilderness after a plane crash is suspenseful from start to finish, but as the lives of her potential rescuers are revealed, the novel also moves through the even deeper wilderness of the human heart. Rye Curtis is a writer of exceptional talent’ Ron Rash, author of Serena
- ‘Rye Curtis’s debut novel is an astonishing work. His powerful and convincing characters are at risk in a harsh and beautiful landscape in which the best and worst are revealed, and nothing is as it initially seems. Kingdomtide is at once a page-turner and a meditation on the complexity of the human experience and spirit’ Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone and The Maid’s Version
- ‘Holy smokes! I was sucked into this novel by the end of the first paragraph. If Flannery O’Connor wrote a procedural, she couldn’t invent a stranger, more luminous world’ Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World