The Haunting of Henry Twist
London, 1926: Henry Twist's heavily pregnant wife leaves home to meet a friend. On the way, she is hit by a bus and killed, though miraculously the baby survives. Henry is left with nothing but his new daughter - a single father in a world without single fathers. He hurries the baby home, terrified that she'll be taken from him. Racked with guilt and fear, he stays away from prying eyes, walking her through the streets at night, under cover of darkness.
But one evening, a strange man steps out of the shadows and addresses Henry by name. The man says that he has lost his memory, but that his name is Jack. Henry is both afraid of and drawn to Jack, and the more time they spend together, the more Henry sees that this man has echoes of his dead wife. His mannerisms, some things he says ... And so Henry wonders, has his wife returned to him? Has he conjured Jack himself from thin air? Or is he in the grip of a sophisticated con man? Who really sent him?
Set in a London recovering from the First World War, The Haunting of Henry Twist is a novel about the limits and potential of love and of grief. It is about the lengths we will go to hold on to what is precious to us, what we will forgive of those we love, and what we will sacrifice for the sake of our own happiness.
'These stories come from a deep, soul-like place of vitality, warmth and beauty... a prodigious writer of great intelligence and talent.'
'This first collection of stories features a wonderfully diverse array of characters... Behind each colourful backdrop lies the inner turmoil of depression, grief and loss, which Rebecca F. John explores with touching empathy and a profound humanity.'
In a small Welsh town, a young Korean immigrant tells her fears and her secrets to the sway of the sea.
Yearning for fame, magician Victor Dahl dices with death as he attempts the legendary Bullet Catch.
In sad, wet London, a neglected girl prostitutes herself to feed her family whilst her mother mourns her childhood stardom and drinks herself ill.
At the dog track, hidden amongst the rowdy punters, an unusual woman reflects on life and death and makes a big decision.
Whilst onstage, somewhere ago, a desperate mother performs a nightly striptease.
These are the people who populate Clown’s Shoes. They are lonely, they are frightened, and most of all they are full of hope.