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In the Fold

Rachel Cusk

‘In The Fold is an enchanting and appallingly funny novel’ Helen Dunmore

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Michael first met the Hanburys of Egypt Hill when he was a young student. He was intrigued and delighted by their bohemian lifestyle and bravado. Twelve years later, married with a young son, Michael is invited back to the house and jumps at the chance of escaping his increasingly turbulent domestic situation. But his illusions about the family are shattered as the rotten core of the Hanbury myth is gradually revealed.

Intimate in its insight, epic in its emotional scope, In the Fold is a brilliant, clever, often painful story of how we can become undone by our yearning to belong.

Critic Reviews

Cusk's prose perfectly captures the claustrophobia of a family crippled by the conflicting demands of property and propriety ... the result is compelling. This is Cusk at her very best.

Tracy Macleod, Marie Claire
Critic Reviews

Cusk is brilliant at crafting the details of 'obscurely threatening' moments and Rebecca, with her 'steady presence of emotional frenzy', is an astounding character ... In the Fold is well deserving of its place on the Booker long-list, this deft, haunting work compels on every page.

Sophie Ratcliffe, Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

What shines in Rachel Cusk's writing is the sheer precision of her observation, the way she can pinpoint something profound with the merest detail.

Carol Birch, Independent
Critic Reviews

The time-honoured narrative of the outsider finding himself bewitched by his wealthy, uninhibited hosts is one that is in danger of becoming a little tired ... but Cusk is not only rigorously perceptive about her central theme - the difference between owning someting worthwhile and doing something worthwhile - she is also more than capable of writing about it with a deceptive lightness of touch ... In the Fold is a delicate but insidious novel, that will leave you musing on your own choices long after the read is over.

Alex Heminsley, Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

It is interesting to observe how the conviction of English 19th century fiction - that authenticity in human relationships was located largely in the countryside; that human dealings in cities were spurious, deceitful and tawdry - has now swung round to the opposite belief. For modern fiction to be taken seriously, it needs to be set in an urban dystopia. Rural surroundings speak of escapism, of Aga Sagary, of Laura Ashley florals and a hapless lack of fictional cool. Bold, then, and pleasantly subversive too, that Rachel Cusk should take such a close interest in recording scenes from provincial life. After visiting this territory in previous fiction to blackly comic effect and critical acclaim, she does so again in dazzling disturbing style with In the Fold.

Jane Shilling, The Times
Critic Reviews

Rachel Cusk's latest novel about disappointed relationships cements her position as one of the most perceptive writers around ... In the Fold is a warning against idealism, brilliantly plotted and eloquently narrated. Subtlety is the key. It's not a showy novel; instead, it lures and gently seduces so that Michael's fascination with the Hanburys becomes, in turn, the reader's fascination ... One wouldn't want to be a character in a Cusk novel for anything, so vivid is her study of disintegrating relationships.

Zoe Green, The Scotsman

Rachel Cusk is the author of Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life’s Work and Aftermath, and several other works of fiction and non-fiction. She is a Guggenheim fellow. She lives in Paris.

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