When Frances Shore moves to Saudi Arabia, she settles in a nondescript sublet, sure that common sense and an open mind will serve her well with her Muslim neighbors. But in the dim, airless flat, Frances spends lonely days writing in her diary, hearing the sounds of sobs through the pipes from the floor above, and seeing the flitting shadows of men on the stairwell. It's all in her imagination, she's told by her neighbors; the upstairs flat is empty, no one uses the roof. But Frances knows otherwise, and day by day, her sense of foreboding grows even as her sense of herself begins to disintegrate.
Among Hilary Mantel
's major novels are“ A Change of Climate,” “A Place of Greater Safety,” and “Eight Months on Ghazzah Street,” She has also written a memoir, “Giving Up the Ghost,” Winner of the Hawthornden Prize, she reviews for “The New York Times” and“ The New York Review of Books,” and lives in England.