Victoria recommends! From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.
Piranesi's house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.
By Susanna Clarke. Paperback. 272 pages. Published by Bloomsbury, 2022.
Victoria's review: Clarke always manages to capture the ephemeral and the impossible, and "Piranesi" is no exception. This novel is both deft and murky at once, providing readers with a charming but unreliable narrator as a guide to the labyrinth. We follow his lantern willingly, happily, because Clarke has enchanted us enough to do so -- and what we find as we walk is an aching story that seeps into our bones. "Piranesi" is for all magic-seekers and would-be magicians, for everyone who has asked what it means to walk unseen paths, and for those who suspect it may cost more than we understand.