THE BRIDPORT LITERARY FESTIVAL 2020.
THE GOLDEN RULE
in conversation with Celia Brayfield
Amanda Craig’s new novel The Golden Rule has been described as “Strangers on a Train meets #MeToo.,” and acclaimed as the novel of the year as well as the best thriller to be set in Cornwall since Rebecca.
In a country divided by poverty, class and Brexit, two women make a pact to murder their husbands.
Fans in Westminster include Nicola Sturgeon who praised the “gripping story coupled with excellent ‘state of nation’ insight.”
The author is a skilful story-teller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion.
In The Golden Rule, Amanda Craig once again reflects the way we live now – highlighting the gulf between the haves and have-nots – while modelling the story on two very different kinds of plot, from Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and the classic fairy-tale, Beauty and the Beast.
Amanda was quoted as saying, “Part of my job, as I see it, is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”.
Intelligent, bookish and hard-working, Hannah is part of a generation that grew up in hope and has tried to escape life in Cornwall’s ugliest coastal town through a university degree, a professional career, and marriage to the privileged Jake.
However, her life has gone disastrously wrong.
She has staked everything on her life becoming one kind of story, and it has become another. Jake has left her for Eve and, reduced to near penury, she is desperate enough to agree to murder the brutal husband of Jinni, the rich woman she meets in the First Class carriage of the London to Penzance train, in return for having Jake killed.
Amanda Craig image © Charlie Hopkinson
“The Golden Rule does what her novels do best, wrapping the reader in a tight, lean narrative, showing the strangeness that lies at the heart of normal-seeming lives ”
Alex Preston, The Observer books for 2020
“If you like your novels wide-ranging, ambitious, socially panoramic, and engaged in the most important issues of the day, Amanda Craig is the writer for you. For more than twenty years now she has been anatomising the state of the British nation with wit and empathy”
“She's such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion ”
“Craig’s The Golden Rule promises to be a typically sharp and hugely satisfying page-turner about two women who decide to murder each other’s husbands ”
Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail books for 2020
“If there were any justice, the versatile Craig would be one of our most lauded novelists. Her eighth novel [The Golden Rule] takes inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train to spin a story of deception and deceit”
Sarah Hughes, i-paper books for 2020
“…shrewd contemporary satirist Amanda Craig reworks Strangers on a Train”
Suzi Feay, FT books for 2020