The Half Sister

When she was sixteen, Diana left her unhappy family and set out to make a new life. Twenty five years later, she has arrived. Recently married to Edmund, there are just the two of them living at Wynhope, his family’s historic country home, both happy for the past to be locked away and for the future to be free from responsibility.

But when Diana hears that her mother has died, she impulsively asks estranged half-sister Valerie and her nine-year-old son to stay. The night of the funeral, fuelled by wine and years of resentment, the sisters argue and a terrible accident occurs. The foundations of a well-ordered life start to crack and the lies begin to surface, one secret after another demanding a voice. And then there’s the boy, watching, waiting.

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Catherine Chanter was born and raised in the West Country. She won a scholarship to read English Literature at Oxford and went on to work as a lobbyist, both in the UK and the USA. Somewhat disillusioned with the political process, she returned to England where she re-trained as a teacher and has since led education provision for vulnerable and excluded young people in a wide range of settings. She currently works for a charity which seeks to re-engage children with mental health problems with education.

Catherine has written for Radio 4 and had short stories and poetry published in many anthologies and publications. Her novella and short story collection Rooms of the Mind was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011. She has a Masters, with Distinction , in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University.

The Well

When Ruth Ardingly and her family first drive up form London in their grime-encrusted car and view The Well, they are enchanted by a jewel of a place, a farm that appears to offer everything the family are searching for. An opportunity for Ruth. An escape for Mark. A home for their grandson Lucien.

But The Well’s unique glory comes at a terrible price. Ruth becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to explain why her land flourishes whilst her neighbours’ produce withers and dies. As The Well envelopes them, her paradise becomes a prison, Mark’s dream a recurring nightmare, and Lucien’s playground a grave.

Winner of the Lucy Cavendish Prize, 2013
A Richard and Judy Book Club Pick Autumn 2015
Long listed for the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger 2015. It is published in the UK by Canongate and has been translated into twelve languages. Click here to find out about international publication.