by Jenna Clake
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Pub Date 04 Jul 2023 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2023
A spellbinding, genre-bending debut that follows a woman’s attempt to heal from an abusive relationship—with the help of black magic.
As the sun sets on a feverishly hot July evening, a young woman spies on her teenage neighbor, transfixed by what looks like an occult ritual intended to banish an ex-boyfriend. Alone in a new town and desperate to expel the claustrophobic memories of her own ex that have followed, the narrator decides to try to hex herself free from her past. She falls in with the neighbor and her witchy friend, exploring nascent supernatural powers as the boundaries of reality shift in and out of focus. But when the creaks and hums of her apartment escalate into something more violent, she realizes that she may have brought her boyfriend’s presence—whether psychological or paranormal—back to haunt her.
With astonishing emotional depth and clarity, Disturbance explores the fallout of abuse. Propulsive and wry, this razor-sharp debut twists witchcraft and horror into a powerful narrative of one woman’s struggle to return to herself.
About the Author: Jenna Clake is the author of two collections of poetry, Museum of Ice Cream and Fortune Cookie, which received an Eric Gregory Award and was shortlisted for a Somerset Maugham Award. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
"Told in vivid domestic details flavored by the occult, Disturbance embodies the claustrophobic fear and denial that can haunt survivors of abuse long after the danger has passed. This book reads like a poem but hits like a horror novel. What a mysterious, painful, yet strangely delicious slice of life." - Ashley Hutson, author of One's Company
"Clake's first novel is blazingly emotionally intelligent, caustically well-observed and at times painfully funny. Shot through with the most convincingly uncanny and unsettling latent plot I've encountered in years. Comparisons are odious, but it feels like Normal People meets 'Twin Peaks.'"- Luke Kennard, author of The Transition
"When I Hit You meets The Craft - this slim, searing novel lures you in with the delicious nostalgia of teenage witchcraft before breaking you in two with its acute account of emotional and physical abuse. I was left completely breathless."-Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butcher's Blessing