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Talking to the Dead

About the Book

Talking to the Dead

Helen Dunmore, the first winner of the Orange Prize for fiction (the women-only version of the Booker Prize) has prepared a deliciously compelling story of sister love, crime, and tragedy in Talking to the Dead.

Nina and Isabel are the closest of sisters, bound together since childhood by the devastating, sudden death of their baby brother. The two women have created very different lives for themselves. Dark, sensual Nina works as a London-based freelance photographer, and beautiful, remote Isabel has married and retreated to country life. But when Isabel gives birth to her first child, and Nina comes to help look after her, images from the hidden past rush back. The new baby is so like the brother who died in his crib twenty-five years before.

Against the backdrop of the hottest summer for a century, a drama of suspicion and betrayal unfolds. Bonds of love and shared history are stretched to the breaking point as Nina begins an illicit affair. Each sister claims to possess knowledge that could destroy the other. But who is lying, and who is telling the truth? As the past becomes alive and dangerous, it forces Isabel to commit a shocking, transforming act.

Fast-moving, complex, and exquisitely crafted, Talking to the Dead seduces us into believing both sides of the story, until the truth is at last revealed, a truth that will stay with us long after the last page is consumed.

Talking to the Dead
by Helen Dunmore

  • Publication Date: June 1, 1998
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316196452
  • ISBN-13: 9780316196451