Leonard is alone and rootless, returning to London after his father's death. He moves in with his distant brother William and his family, hoping to renew their friendship but learning to drop his expectations of brotherhood. William is a former lecturer and activist who now runs informal meetings with ex-students. He is defiantly unworldly and forever questioning. When a young student follows William's arguments to a shocking conclusion, it appears William has already set his own fate in motion. Against a backdrop of tabloid frenzy, Leonard can only watch as William embraces the danger in the only way he knows how, which threatens to consume not only himself, but his entire family.
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A fine study of the nature and strength of family ties and the morality, or otherwise, of conforming where it matters - The Times
This beautifully written composition does that rare thing, of provoking free thought, while scrutinising the far-reaching repercussions of such rebellious activity - Independent
Harvey's slow, intense thoughtfulness feels positively Woolfean at times. She thinks deeply, and writes beautifully about these thoughts. - Sunday Times
This is a novel of ideas that also creates believable characters and explores complex relationships. Harvey's prose is graceful and unhurried, full of sharp observation and moments of subtly understated pathos - Guardian
There's still something compelling in the way Harvey resists the easy and the obvious. The result is a novel of both depth and defiance - Observer
A moving novel about family duty and friendship set against a London backdrop of national unrest - Grazia
Deftly controlled and exquisitely measured - The List
How would Socrates get on in 21st century Britain? This is the question at the heart of Samantha Harvey's ambitious second novel - Daily Mail
The beauty of the intense plot lies in its economy. The novel is so finely tuned, it is hard to find any passage where she is not fully in control. No matter how dramatic the events she describes, they never drown the ideas being discussed. - Literary Review
Harvey's talent is in the details of both characters and relationships that seem trivial but are telling ... Harvey is a master of language, adept at both Wildean one-liners ... and more profound expression - Evening Standard
In this Socrates-like story Samantha Harvey examines a dramatic sibling relationship whilst questioning the place of philosophy in modern life - Big Issue in the North
Lovely observations on a sibling relationship - Glasgow Sunday Herald
Graceful and full of sharp observation and moments of understated pathos - Guardian
Samantha Harvey was born in England in 1975. She has lived in Ireland, New Zealand and Japan writing, travelling and teaching, and in recent years has co-founded an environmental charity alongside her writing. She lives in Bath and teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. The Wilderness, her first novel, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009.