This is the brilliant new novel from the bestselling author of Mr Golightly's Holiday and Miss Garnet's Angel.
'There is no cure for being alive.'
Thus speaks Dr. David McBride, a psychiatrist for whom death exerts an unusual draw. As a young child, he witnessed the death of his six-year-old brother and it is this traumatic event which has shaped his own personality and choice of profession. One day, a failed suicide, Elizabeth Cruikshank, is admitted to his hospital. She is unusually reticent and it is not until he recalls a painting by Caravaggio that she finally yields up her story. We learn of Elizabeth Cruikshank's dereliction of trust, and the man she has lost, through David's narration. As her story unfolds, David finds his own life being touched by her account and a haunting sense that the 'other side' of his elusive patient has a strange resonance for him, too.
Set partly in Rome, The Other Side of You explores the theme of redemption through love and art, which has become a hallmark of Salley Vickers's acclaimed work.
First published 2006; this edition with PS section 2007.
'There is something rare and special about Vickers as a novelist. In exploring the connections between faith and imagination, art and redemption, religion and science in an intelligent, unusual but very readable way, she manages to touch something buried deep in all of us. It gives her work a quietly compelling quality.' Peter Stanford, Independent 'Kindred spirits and soul mates are at the heart of Salley Vickers' new novel set in a South Coast psychiatric institution and in Rome!This is a fine and multi-layered novel which suggests that suffering is necessary and that opportunities for happiness should be taken whenever offered.' Daily Mail 'Compelling.' Alex Clark, Observer 'Ferociously readable.' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph 'Love and pain, death and life, self knowledge and insensibility -- all these big, vital themes converge in this moving, utterly engrossing novel.' Guardian 'The lives of the characters in this gently absorbing novel continue to resonate with the failures, possibilities, regrets and redemptions -- consoled and mirrored by art -- that we all endure.' Carol Ann Duffy, Telegraph 'The evocation of place, and the pervading sense of sadness, are skilfully created, and the flawed humanity and depth of feeling of the characters are compelling.' Times Literary Supplement 'The writing is so good and the structure so skilful that she manages to make the delicate and difficult notions vivid. Her territory is the faultline along which memories of loss are experienced by an individual both as integral to their identity and as constraints on their engagement with the present. This may be true of a great deal of fiction, but it is rare for a novel to present it so directly and with such success.' John de Falbe, Spectator 'Aborbing, intellectual!enjoyable.' The Tablet (Novel of the Week) 'Vickers's astute descriptions of jealousy, passion and grief shift seamlessly from one character to another in the present without faltering!In her experienced hands the characters are complex without being contrived.' Time Out 'This slow burning novel wraps itself around you, while questioning the nature of love and the redemptive power if art.' Woman and Home '"The Other Side of You" is a brave and unusual book, a gripping read that offers the tantalisations and rewards of a whodunit.' Literary Review
Salley Vickers is the author of the bestselling 'Miss Garnet's Angel', 'Instances of the Number 3' and 'Mr Golightly's Holiday'. She has worked as a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst. She now writes full time.