Author(s): Grace McCleen
It was the year when Madeline's family moved to an island her father believed God had guided him to. It was a place where she revelled in the natural beauty of their surroundings. It was a time of euphoria, but also of successive disasters. It was the night Madeline turned fourteen, when she did something she thought would save her beloved mother. Something so traumatic that she cannot now recall it, but her suave new psychiatrist thinks he knows how to unlock her memory. He is treading on very dangerous ground.
A stunning novel about faith, innocence and sin, the tale of an unusual rite of passage with terrible consequences by the feted young author of The Land of Decoration.
Extraordinary...Wonderfully suspenseful and deeply moving, The Offering is full of insights about the nature of madness. It is also keenly observant of the ways in which men play God and the power of the oppressed imagination to create an inhabitable world, even under near-intolerable conditions. John Burnside, Guardian That McCleen is a writer of exceptional gifts is beyond doubt. Her prose can soar in moments of breathtaking beauty, most particularly when she turns a poet's eye on the landscape...she writes equally viscerally about her narrator's emotional terrain, depicting claustrophobia, shame and terror so painfully it makes your skin itch. Stephanie Merritt, Observer Strange and beautiful Hope Whitmore, Independent on Sunday Grace McCleen's talent for description, especially when portraying the natural world, is quite exquisite. Carol Midgley, The Times The richness with which Madeline describes her febrile younger self contrasts heartbreakingly with the glassy, emotionally neutered life she inhabits now...a bold, mature, terribly sad novel. Claire Allfree, Daily Mail Impressive, a plausible and moving account of mental illness. Sam Kitchener, Daily Telegraph Captures the intensity of teenage anguish, and expresses a terrifying estimation of its implications, but it also dares to suggest that God can never be removed from the equation and asks: What is God? Max Liu, Independent There is an eerie sense of foreboding in Grace McCleen's wonderful third novel...Terrific and terrifying. Psychologies (Book of the Month) Award-winning author Grace McCleen returns with The Offering, a mesmerising story of innocence corrupted. Good Housekeeping [McCleen's] vivid representations of the wild environment, loaded with symbolism and a powerful, often sinister spirituality, can bring to mind the poetry of Louise Erdrich, and a sense of fear and foreboding propels the narrative forward. The family's first spring on the island, for example, is described in a single stunning sentence [...] the denouement will leave you reeling. -- Laura Battle Financial Times
Grace McCleen's first novel, The Land of Decoration, was published in 2012 and was awarded the Desmond Elliott Prize for the best first novel of the year. It was also chosen for Richard & Judy's Book Club and won her the Betty Trask Prize in 2013. Her second novel, The Professor of Poetry, was published by Sceptre in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Encore Award. She read English at the University of Oxford and has an MA from York, and currently lives in London.