The Kindness

The Kindness

by Polly Samson


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The Kindness by Polly Samson

He followed her eyes skyward to a bird that was falling, turning and turning, like a heart that had leapt free. It fell, and as it did it became a falcon. He was transfixed.

Julian's fall begins the moment he sets eyes on Julia.

Julia is married and eight years his senior; he is a gifted English student, a life of academia ahead. Ignoring warnings from family and friends, they each give up all they have to be together. Their new life in London offers immense happiness, especially after their longed-for daughter Mira is born.

When Julian hears that Firdaws, his adored boyhood home, is for sale, he sets out to recreate a lost paradise for his new family. Once again, love blinds him. It is only when Mira becomes terrifyingly ill that it is impossible for Julia to conceal from him the explosive secret that she has been keeping at the heart of their lives.

Lyrical, haunting and exquisitely rendered, Polly Samson's second novel explores a deception that comes wrapped as a gift, a betrayal that is clothed in kindness, and asks if we can ever truly trust another. The result is an unforgettable story of love, grief, betrayal, and reconciliation, masterfully plotted and beautifully told.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632863904
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/22/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 653,891
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Polly Samson was born in London in 1962. She is the author of two highly acclaimed story collections and a novel, Out of the Picture, which was shortlisted for the Author Club's First Novel Award. Her most recent collection of linked stories, Perfect Lives, was a Sunday Times Fiction Choice of the Year. Samson lives in Sussex.


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The Kindness 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Kindness by Polly Samson is one of the worst books I have read this year. The book starts in 1989 with Julia married to Chris. Chris has been away working and Julia (who is twenty-nine) has been having an affair with Julian (who is twenty-one and a working on his Ph. D. in English Literature). When Chris finds out he becomes nasty and abusive. Julia is pregnant and leaves her husband for Julian. Then the book skips to 1997 and Julian is living at Firdaws. Firdaws was his childhood home and he was happy when the current occupants put it up for sale. He loved this home and was delighted to be living in it again (he does not seem to notice that Julia does not want to live in the country and prefers London). Julia had a miscarriage and it took them four years to get pregnant again. They had Mira Eliana. Mira ends up sick with a tumor. She needs cancer treatments and then surgery. During this time the two do not communicate very well (and Julia makes many incorrect assumptions). The book jumps around during this section (flashbacks) telling the story from Julian’s perspective (how they met, their friends, lack of communication during Mira’s illness). Julian is mostly drunk during this section clutching a shoe (Mira’s). About two hundred pages later we get to Julia’s side of the story in 2002. Julia is now living in the United States with her husband (this would be her third) and two children (Mira and Ruth). We get to find out what happened between Julia and Julian (from Julia’s perspective) and the lies she told Julian (her “kindness” is very cruel). Then the book jumps to 2012 for the conclusion with Mira coming to Firdaws. The book does not tell the story in chronological order. It jumps around so you are never quite sure what is going on. The Kindness is very choppy and confusing. I also found it to be very predictable (expected) and sluggish (like slogging through a mud pit). I give The Kindness 1 out of 5 stars (really deserves a zero). I just did not find this book enjoyable (and it really did sound good). I received a complimentary copy of The Kindness from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.