Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins
If I could build her again using words, I would: starting at her long, painted feet and working up, meticulously shading in every cell and gap and space for breath until her pulse just couldn't help but kick back in to life. Her hip bones, her red knuckles, the soft skin of her thighs, her fine crackle of hair. Tom Stone, skinnyish, fortyish, English, is madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian in self-imposed exile in London. Pushing forty and expecting their first child, they buy their first, semi-derelict house in Hackney. They believe this is their settled future, despite Tom's stalling career and their spiralling money troubles. But Ann becomes convinced she's being shadowed by a local homeless man whose presence seems like a terrible omen. As her pregnancy progresses she spends hours cleaning and reorganising the house, and sits up all night talking with a new feverish passion. As their child grows, so too does Tom's sense of an impending, nameless threat. Their home appears beset with vermin, smells and strange noises. On the verge of losing the house, Tom makes a decision that he hopes will save their lives. Dark, sensuous and utterly compelling, Novel About My Wife is a taut, chilling novel about the need for escape and the perils of forgetting.