A Perfect Explanation

A Perfect Explanation Eleanor Anstruther
Pub date 15th March 2019
Original publisher Salt Publishing (UK), Bolinda (UK audio)
International publishers Rizzoli (Italy), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US)




Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2019

The Observer: Fiction to look out for in 2019

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, A Perfect Explanation is a fictionalized account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892-1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll, who sold her son to her sister for £500.

““But is it ours?”  Enid had asked, again and again, until she was old enough to realise that it wasn’t – that nothing was owned, that everything could be taken away.”

Enid was Eleanor’s grandmother, her son, Ian, Eleanor’s father. The story’s dialogue – passed down to Eleanor but also imagined – gives us an authentic insight into a world of aristocratic privilege, where inheritance is everything. The unsaid and the unspoken in Enid’s story are vividly conveyed, and haunt the pages of this extraordinary book.


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