Pub Date 24 Jan 2019
Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #Godsend #NetGalley
In California her name was Aden Grace Sawyer. In Pakistan she must choose a different name – Suleyman – and take on a new identity as a young man. She has travelled a long way to begin her new life, and she’ll travel further to protect her secret.
But once she is on the ground, Aden finds herself in more danger than she could have dreamed. Faced with violence and loss, she must make intense and unimaginable choices that will test not only her faith, but her understanding of who she is.
Compelling, unnerving and timely, Godsend is a subtle masterpiece of empathy: a study of what it means for a person to give themselves to their faith, and how far they will go from home to find a place to belong.
‘Serious, sober and frequently mesmerising . . . Godsend is part adventure and part horror story. With financial help from her local mosque, Aden flies to Pakistan with a friend. If the Muslim world is no place for an adventurous woman, she will be a man . . . This is a significant literary performance’
Dwight Garner, New York Times
‘Godsend, which begins like a recognisable combination of bildungsroman and adventure tale, becomes much stranger and more original after it arrives in Pakistan, discovering within itself a profound understanding of the demands of religious practice – of religious submission, especially – which has eluded almost every serious contemporary American novelist since 9/11. It is not only Wray’s heroine but also his novel that comes of age, steadily deepening and astounding as it develops . . . Godsend impresses because Wray is so fearlessly committed to his fictional world, and to his own depiction of it’
James Wood, New Yorker
‘This novel crosses lines that fiction should, stretching the imagination from suburban California to a jihadi training camp in the foothills of the Hindu Kush. Wray's taut prose propels a gripping narrative that stands head and shoulders above most fiction about America's war on terror’
HARI KUNZRU, author of WHITE TEARS
‘John Wray is making a place for himself among our greatest living writers. Godsend is a wonder to me: a fearless book about a terrifying subject. The elegance and daring of this novel left me dizzy’
AKHIL SHARMA, author of FAMILY LIFE
‘This is a great book about a time and a place that I lived through. I was nostalgic, reading Godsend, for the days when I was a young girl in Afghanistan, going to the madrasa with my friends. This came as a surprise to me. But there was beauty in that life. And there is beauty in this story’
‘I’ve just spent every spare moment in a fever heat reading Godsend, and I’m truly dazzled by its daring literal and psychological border-crossings, its tonal complexity, and its pitiless compassion. Nothing is foreign to John Wray’s imagination. I hope I can write half as fearlessly one day’
KAREN RUSSELL, author of VAMPIRES IN THE LEMON GROVE
‘Wray communicates a disturbing image of disaffected youth and the lures of extremism’