From the Booker-nominated author of The Water Cure and Blue Ticket comes a chilling new feminist fable – an eerie and erotic historical mystery about desire, memory and madness
‘Definitely don’t miss the return of Sophie Mackintosh’ Stylist
‘Be sure to read everything Sophie Mackintosh writes’ Deborah Levy
In 1951, still reeling in the aftermath of the deadliest war the world had ever seen, the small French town of Pont-Saint-Esprit succumbed to a mass poisoning. Some historians believe the mysterious illness was caused by spoiled bread. Others claim it was the result of covert government testing on the local population.
In the years before the disaster, there lived in the doomed town a woman named Elodie. She was the baker’s wife: a plain, unremarkable person who yearned to transcend her dull existence. So when a charismatic new couple arrived in town (the forceful Ambassador and his sharp-toothed wife, Violet), Elodie quickly fell under their spell. Thus began a dangerous and intoxicating game of cat and mouse – but who was the predator and on whom did they prey?
Audacious and mesmerising, Cursed Bread is a fevered confession, an entry into memory’s hall of mirrors, a fable of obsession and transformation. Sophie Mackintosh spins a darkly gleaming tale of a town gripped by hysteria, envy like poison in the blood, and desire that burns and consumes.
Praise for Sophie Mackintosh:
‘An extraordinary debut – otherworldly, luminous, precise’ Guardian on The Water Cure
‘Dreamlike, tense, compelling, with a pitch-perfect ending’ The New York Times on Blue Ticket
‘An unsettling dark fantasy… It lingers long after the final page’ Daily Telegraph on The Water Cure
‘Blue Ticket will worms its way under your skin and haunt your dreams’ Red