Absolution

Publisher: Vintage Canada

Told in shifting perspectives, Absolution revolves around the mysterious Clare Wald, a controversial writer and critic of great fame, now a recluse behind the fortified garden walls of her home in the Western Cape. Her only visitor is Sam Leroux, a South African expatriate who has returned after many years in New York to embark on a project that will make his career: Clare's authorized biography. 

Haunted by the memories of a sister she fears she betrayed and of a daughter she fears she abandoned, Clare comes to realize that the dead do not stay buried and the missing return in other forms. As Sam gradually earns Clare's trust, his own ghosts emerging from the histories that he and Clare begin to unravel, together they navigate the elusive nature of truth, the mystery of the creative process and the catharsis of reconciliation.
Told in shifting perspectives, Absolution revolves around the mysterious Clare Wald, a controversial writer and critic of great fame, now a recluse behind the fortified garden walls of her home in the Western Cape. Her only visitor is Sam Leroux, a South African expatriate who has returned after many years in New York to embark on a project that will make his career: Clare's authorized biography. 

Haunted by the memories of a sister she fears she betrayed and of a daughter she fears she abandoned, Clare comes to realize that the dead do not stay buried and the missing return in other forms. As Sam gradually earns Clare's trust, his own ghosts emerging from the histories that he and Clare begin to unravel, together they navigate the elusive nature of truth, the mystery of the creative process and the catharsis of reconciliation.

PRAISE FOR

FINALIST 2014 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

"A rare combination of page-turner and literary triumph.... Utterly captivating, this is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in a long while."
—Steven Galloway, author of The Cellist of Sarajevo

"A riveting exploration of memory and forgiveness and how perceptions of a single incident can vary so greatly."
Chatelaine

"The wonder of this outstanding first novel is that Flanery weaves the stories together with assurance and craftsmanship, digging underneath many received ideas about the old and new South Africa."
—The Times

"Flanery is an extraordinary new writer and Absolution shines a light on contemporary South Africa and the long shadow of apartheid.... A debut of great strength and power."
GQ

"Astonishingly vivid and insightful.... Stunning."
The Wall Street Journal

"Unflinching, often chilling.... An impressive debut."
—The Gazette