How much of it is true? Find out more about Penance, the cult hit novel by Eliza Clark
More about the book!
From the author of the cult hit Boy Parts comes a chilling, brilliantly told story of murder among a group of teenage girls – a powerful and disturbing novel piercing in its portrait of young women.
Compulsively readable, provocative and disturbing, Eliza Clark’s Penance is a cleverly nuanced, unflinching exploration of gender, class and power that raises troubling questions about the media and our obsession with true crime while bringing to light the depraved side of human nature and our darkest proclivities.
‘You’ve never read anything like this.’ – Julia Armfield
Do you know what happened already? Did you know her? Did you see it on the internet? Did you listen to a podcast? Did the hosts make jokes?
Did you see the pictures of the body?
Did you look for them?
It’s been years since the horrifying murder of 16-year-old Joan Wilson rocked Crow-on-Sea, and the events of that terrible night are now being published for the first time.
That story is Penance, a dizzying feat of masterful storytelling, where Eliza Clark manoeuvres us through accounts from the inhabitants of this small seaside town.
Placing us in the capable hands of journalist Alec Z Carelli, Clark allows him to construct what he claims is the ‘definitive account’ of the murder and what led up to it. Built on hours of interviews with witnesses and family members, painstaking historical research, and most notably, correspondence with the killers themselves, the result is a riveting snapshot of lives rocked by tragedy, and a town left in turmoil.
The only question is: how much of it is true?
About the author
Eliza Clark has relocated from her native Newcastle back to London, UK, where she previously attended Chelsea College of Art. In 2018, she received a grant from New Writing North’s ‘Young Writers’ Talent Fund’. Her debut novel, Boy Parts, was released by Influx Press in July 2020, and it has since been Blackwell’s Fiction Book of the Year. In 2022, Clark was chosen as a finalist for the Women’s Prize Futures Award for writers under 35.