Author(s): Hannah Kohler
'Masterly ...gloriously well-written and deeply imagined' Jim Crace Jeannie is nineteen when the world changes, Kip only fourteen. The sudden accident that robs them of their mother leaves them adrift, with only their father to guide them. Jeannie seeks escape in work and later marriage to a man whose social connections propel her into an unfamiliar world of wealth and politics. Ill-equipped and unprepared, Jeannie finds comfort where she can. Meanwhile Kip's descent into a life of petty crime is halted only when he volunteers for the Marines. By 1968, the conflict in Vietnam is at its height, and with the anti-war movement raging at home, Jeannie and Kip are swept along by events larger than themselves, driven by disillusionment to commit unforgiveable acts of betrayal that will leave permanent scars. The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away. With extraordinary skill and accuracy, Hannah Kohler takes us from 1960s California to Vietnam, capturing what it means to live through historic times. This powerful debut novel announces Kohler as a remarkable new literary talent.
A remarkable debut set in California and Vietnam in 1968, The Outside Lands is a powerful story of family, disillusionment and betrayal.
Kohler reimagines the Vietnam War and its misbegotten aims as a travesty of the family, beautifully articulating the wider sacrifices too often ignored -- Joshua Ferris A book that is both sensitive and powerful, a marvel of historical accuracy and a riveting read. -- Donna Leon
Hannah Kohler grew up on the south coast of England. After studying English and American Literature at Cambridge University, Hannah completed the City University MA in Creative Writing. She has worked in television for several years and lives in London. The Outside Lands is her first novel.