Author(s): Amanda Craig
Rich or poor, five people, seemingly very different, find their lives in the capital connected in undreamed-of ways. There is Job, the illegal mini-cab driver whose wife in Zimbabwe no longer answers his letters; Ian, the idealistic supply teacher in exile from South Africa; Katie from New York, jilted and miserable as a dogsbody at a political magazine, and fifteen-year-old Anna, trafficked into sexual slavery. Polly Noble, an overworked human rights lawyer, knows better than most how easy it is to fall through the cracks into the abyss. Yet when her au pair, Iryna, disappears, Polly's own needs and beliefs drag her family into a world of danger, deceit and terror. Riveting, humane, engaging, HEARTS AND MINDS is a novel that is both entertaining and prepared to ask the most serious questions about the way we live.
* A gripping, topical novel - a detective story, a love story and a book about contemporary Britain
Orange Prize 2010.
** 'This is a novel written with passion and moral outrage. It is a vivid portrait of a city that is at once familiar and disconcertingly strange' THE TIMES Joan Smith ** 'Rich, Dickensian' SUNDAY TIMES Penny Perrick ** 'She is a humane writer as well a waspish one and it is the plight of London's migrant workers and sink-school pupils with which she is primarily concerned here, and her passion and care are affecting' OBSERVER Lisa O'Kelly ** 'There is much in HEARTS AND MINDS to praise ... The book displays the author's relentless compassion. A large kindness overarches the novel' GUARDIAN Stevie Davies ** 'Throughout, the writing is confident, purposeful, quietly dynamic ... Impressively, the narrative's contained momentum is achieved neither at the expense of humour (which is sharp and almost entirely successful), nor of Craig's characters' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Stephanie Cross ** 'Her style is immediate and precise, and convincingly dramatic ... Compelling ... a terrific read' INDEPENDENT Yasmin Alibai-Brown ** 'Amanda Craig presents her disparate cast with engaging intelligence' DAILY MAIL Helen Brown ** 'From first to last page, from basement brothel to glitzy garden party, Amanda Craig's new novel, set in, and all about, contemporary London, had me utterly in thrall' JEWISH CHRONICLE Madeleine Kingsley ** 'Full of suspense and drama ... a thoroughly engaging novel which explores themes of immigration, displacement and human connection in 21st century London. Like Dickens' London novels, HEARTS AND MINDS is ambitious in terms of scale ... Craig, like Dickens, achieves a novel which is 'good' in both sense of the term: HEARTS AND MINDS has literary merit as well as an unusual social conscience ... an absorbing novel, a genuinely moving story of city lives striving to connect' MSLEXIA Jude Piesse ** 'Amanda Craig has taken the Victorian novel and brought it magnificently into the 21st century ... it is strong on plot and social awareness. Take these 19th-century trappings and apply them to one of the most controversial issues in our society today - immigration - and you have a riveting, disturbing picture of the way we live now' CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL Ruth Gorb ** 'HEARTS AND MINDS has a real sense of relish in its writing ... It's a rare thing - an absolutely contemporary novel written with brio, buoyant with satire and yet earthed in the traditions of nineteenth century realism' Helen Dunmore ** 'A real triumph' Fay Weldon ** 'It's ambitious, compelling and utterly gripping' Maggie O'Farrell ** 'In this brilliantly observed, richly characterised and startling contemporary novel, Amanda Craig takes figures from the margins of society and places them at the heart of our concerns' Michael Arditti
Amanda Craig is a well-known journalist and broadcaster. She is the author of A VICIOUS CIRCLE, IN A DARK WOOD and LOVE IN IDLENESS.