Charlotte Fairbairn


What is it to be a parent? What is it to be the parent of a child who is distant and different and fragile? In this magical fable, a larger-than-life sculptor father and a costume-maker mother watch over their angel Sybilla. They live in a nameless city on a mythical river aboard a barge with a moon-and-stars clock and a camomile lawn and festoons of velvet. And then their beloved child is missing.

This is a fable but it is also real, about loving a child and losing her. What does lost mean? And found? A profoundly original look at the unfathomable complexity of family relationships. The story tumbles and flows with the energy of the river, breathless yet poised, the words sparkling with a fierce and perfect originality.

Brilliant, absorbing, moving, insightful, beautifully written book about familial love. Just SO good

Publication date: March 18th 2022

978-1-9196248-2-2 Paperback
Price: £8.99
978-1-9196248-3-9 Digital
Price: £5.99


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About this book

Charlotte Fairbairn was born in Scotland and lives in Cumbria. She has published three novels including God Breathes His Dreams Through Nathaniel Cadwallader which also came out in the US. She is past winner of a Northern Writers’ Award and was runner up in the 2018 Lakeland Book of the Year. She is Head of Content at Lowther Castle in Cumbria and is Co-Founder and Editor of Spiracle, the audiobook and ebook platform dedicated to overlooked works of literary and non fiction.

Additional information

Book Type

E-Book, Paperback


‘A really enjoyable novel – I was reminded a little of Sarah Hall’s Burntcoat but I felt here the fable-like nature of the writing, the way it is “fractionally out of reach” added to rather than subtracted from its power and resonance.’
– Goodreads reviewer. 5 stars

Beautifully conceived and magically delivered. When I reluctantly finished it I felt beached – exhausted from the emotional journey.
– Mr C, Amazon 5 stars

Loved this gentle book with characters I really cared about.
– Amazon, 5 stars

Gripping and enthralling.
– Emma, Amazon 5 stars