The Girl Below
By Bianca Zander
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780062108166, 352pp.)
Publication Date: June 2012
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Suki Piper is a stranger in her hometown. . . .
After ten years in New Zealand, Suki returns to London, to a city that won't let her in. However, a chance visit with Peggyan old family friend who still lives in the building where she grew upconvinces Suki that there is a way to reconnect with the life she left behind a decade earlier. But the more involved she becomes with Peggy's dysfunctional family, including Peggy's wayward sixteen-year-old grandson, the more Suki finds herself mysteriously slipping back in timeto the night of a party her parents threw in their garden more than twenty years ago, when something happened in an old, long-unused air-raid shelter. . . .
A breathtaking whirlwind of mystery, transgression, and self-discovery, Bianca Zander's The Girl Below is a haunting tale of secrets, human frailty, and dark memory that heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new literary talent.
British-born Bianca Zander has lived in Auckland, New Zealand, for the past two decades. An established journalist, she has written for numerous publications, including The Listener, the Sunday Star-Times, and the Dominion Post. She has produced radio shows and written for film and television, including writing the dramatic short film The Handover, which screened in competition at the Chicago Film Festival. Bianca holds an M.A. in creative writing from Victoria University, Wellington. The Girl Below is her first novel.
“I just loved THE GIRL BELOW--it’s so real and moving, so funny and smart, so sharp and artful. In every sense, Bianca Zander is a fantastic writer, and I’m recommending this magical novel to all my friends.”
-Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife
“Sharp, incisive, funny, THE GIRL BELOW is an intoxicating read. Combining gritty coming-of-age realism with time-travelling weirdness, Zander’s writing brings the genius of Murakami to mind.”
-Sarah Laing, author of Coming Up Roses and Dead People's Music
“Zander’s debut brims with truth; her accuracy of detail and way with words can be dizzying. This is a nuanced, complex portrait of contemporary female subjectivity.”
-Samuel Park, author of This Burns My Heart
“The mystery at the core of this beautifully crafted novel was so compelling that I couldn’t sleep until I finished it. . . . This is a wonderful, surprising and accomplished debut novel.”
-Marianne Elliott, author of Zen Under Fire
“A terrific read -- the sort of book you don’t want to put down, and then stays with you when you do . . . Zander works the entwined themes of estrangement and strangeness beautifully.”
-New Zealand Herald