Author(s): Rebecca Hunt
It's July, 1964. In bed at home in Kent, Winston Churchill is waking up. There's a visitor in the room, someone he hasn't seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him with tortured concentration. It's Mr. Chartwell. In her terraced house in Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress. It's Mr. Chartwell. He is charismatic and dangerously seductive, and Esther and Winston Churchill are drawn together by his dark influence. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell's strange, powerful charms and strong hold? Can they even explain to anyone who or what he is? Or why he has come to visit? For Mr. Chartwell is a huge, black dog. In this utterly original, moving, funny and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell's motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they seem.
Shortlisted for Galaxy National Book Awards: National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year 2010.
A remarkable debut. These are some of the best evocations of depression you'll read Observer Extraordinary. Owing to Hunt's robust, intelligent style and ingenuiuty and compassion with which she deals with her story, it is very good indeed Daily Telegraph Offers a powerful evocation of depression. Brilliantly original and thought-provoking. She tackles a serious topic with humour and intelligence and marks herself out as one to watch Sunday Express Moving. Hunt treats her heavy themes with a light, intelligent touch and writes with a distinctive blend of humour, restraint and insight Metro Marvellously original, tender and funny debut novel. Rebecca Hunt proves herself to be a gifted writer who has no need of fictional realism to deliver profound truths Daily Mail A real joy to read: funny, clever and original. A darkly comic debut that hits all the right notes Scotsman
Rebecca Hunt graduated from Central Saint Martins College with a first class honours degree in fine art. She lives and works in London. Mr Chartwell is her first novel.