The sensational third novel from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse.
One winter’s afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.
Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie’s imposing house in search of a confession…
From the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse, The Confession is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves.
I was so excited to receive The Confession on publication day that I immediately dropped everything I was doing to begin reading it. I’m pleased to say my decision was vindicated, as I enjoyed every word, and what beautiful words they are. Burton clearly takes great care over the vocabulary she uses, and her wonderful use of language means that I was able to visualise each scene and feel every emotion. The love, grief, fear and heartbreak seeps through every page and it is impossible to avoid it.
It’s not just the words that make The Confession a wonderful reading experience. There is a highly engaging plot too, which is told over two distinct time frames: the early 1980s and the present day. The time frames are interwoven brilliantly with clear shifts in culture and lifestyle which represent the times perfectly. As the reader is taken on the journey back and forth, Burton raises questions and reveals small details that make the novel incredibly intriguing.
The blurb describes Constance as “bold and alluring” and she undoubtedly lives up to this billing. It is not just Elise who is taken under her spell, as I, too, was fascinated by her story. Constance, as with all the characters in this novel, is very well drawn and I very quickly found myself immersed in her life, unable to stop thinking about her and the colourful characters around her.
I cannot wait to see what Jessie Burton does next!
The Confession is available from Amazon.