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UK Publisher: Arcadia

Michael Arditti’s passionate and provocative new novel combines tender romance with a unique and richly observed setting. A woman wakes in a Lourdes hotel room beside her lover of just two days. She has brought her brain-damaged husband on a pilgrimage to seek a miracle cure; her lover is making a TV documentary to mark the shrine’s 150th anniversary year. Setting aside personal doubts, family ties and spiritual differences, they embark on a turbulent affair from which neither they nor those around them will emerge unchanged.

‘Carries you through with warmth, humour and, above all, the urgency of a great romance’ Peter Stanford, Guardian

‘With compassion as a compass, Arditti shows how two vulnerable people can help each other move on from difficult pasts . . . As a writer, Arditti excels in exposing the frailty in us all’ Laura Silverman, Daily Mail

‘What makes the book so poignant, and so urgent, is that the ethics of choice, and how we care for one another, are made to matter, not just to the characters but also to the readers’ Patricia Duncker, Literary Review