This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

The Quick

Cover of The Quick

The Quick

A Novel
For fans of The Night Circus, The Historian, and A Discovery of Witches, Lauren Owen's enthralling debut captures the magic and menace of Victorian London, and is a brilliant novel of steadfast love,...More
For fans of The Night Circus, The Historian, and A Discovery of Witches, Lauren Owen's enthralling debut captures the magic and menace of Victorian London, and is a brilliant novel of steadfast love,...More
Available formats-
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Reading Level:

Recommended for you


 
Description-
  • For fans of The Night Circus, The Historian, and A Discovery of Witches, Lauren Owen's enthralling debut captures the magic and menace of Victorian London, and is a brilliant novel of steadfast love, damning secrets, and dangerous ambition.

    London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling "Doctor Knife." But the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country's preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.

    In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction's most dazzling talents.

    Advance praise for The Quick

    "A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist."--Kate Atkinson, bestselling author of Life After Life and Case Histories

    "A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre . . . As soon as you have breathed with relief, much worse horrors begin. It's a skilled, assured performance, and it's hard to believe it is a first novel."--Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

    "Ambitious, elegant, atmospheric, and often deeply poignant, The Quick is a seamless blend of Victorian London and rich imagination. This is a book to savor."--Tana French, bestselling author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor


    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    Chapter One

    There were owls in the nursery when James was a boy. The room was papered in a pattern of winding branches, amongst which great green parent owls perched in identical courting couples. Beneath each pair, a trio of green owlets huddled, their sharp beaks slightly ajar. They sat between big, thistling green flowers with tiny white blossoms which made James think of mother-of-pearl buttons, the kind on Charlotte's Sunday dress. When he was alone in the nursery, James thought he could hear the owls chatter together softly, like monkeys, scratching and scratching their claws against the endless green branches. But when Charlotte was there, they were quiet, because she had told them that if they did not behave, she would get her box of watercolours and paint out their eyes.

    At night James would hear the real owls screech outside and imagine them gliding through the dark. Sometimes there was the high sudden cry of a fox. And sometimes there was a noise from the house itself, a whispering creaking sound, as if the walls were sighing.

    Often he would slip out of bed and down the corridor to Charlotte's room. Charlotte would always be sound asleep: face down on the pillow, though Mrs. Rowley, the housekeeper, said it was unnatural and would lead to Charlotte being smothered to death one of these days. James would slip under the blankets and lie down topsy-turvy, with his head at the bottom of the bed, his feet near the top. Charlotte would sometimes murmur and kick halfheartedly against him, then fall asleep again, and James would do the same, his feet pressed against her back until they grew warm. They would lie all night like that, snug as the pair of pistols that lived in the blue-lined case in Father's study.

    When morning came James liked to wake early, open Charlotte's bedroom window and look down onto the grounds of Aiskew Hall, which went on for as far as he could see. There were wide lawns and gardens edged by paths and stately, lovely old trees--oaks and horse chestnuts and copper beeches and silver birches. Between the trees there were two grassy mounds. These were the icehouses, which now held gardening tools and other odd things.

    At a distance, the gardens still had the illusion of being neat and well tended, as they had been before James and Charlotte were born. Long ago, in the prosperous days, there had been people to look after things: gardeners and undergardeners, two gamekeepers and a carpenter. A fire engine, too, drawn by horses. Now there was only Griswold, strange and grim-faced and sixty-three. There had been a young Griswold once--the gardener's son, who had been expected to take over from his father and who instead went off to foreign parts and then died (fighting the Shantee, said Ann, the housemaid. James thought perhaps this was a sort of banshee).

    After his son went away, Griswold had been left alone to wage a vain and bitter war against the gardens. He shot the rabbits but they came back, grazing the lawns at their leisure. The mighty rhodo­dendron bushes flourished unchecked, and in the orchard the trees turned wild and the apples were eaten by blackbirds.



    At the end of the hall gardens, the ground gave way to a sudden drop that felt like the edge of the world. Below was a ditch full of nettles, which was called a ha-ha. Beyond that there were wide flat fields for miles, green and gold in the spring, red-brown earth in the winter. There were oak trees and black sheep grazing and the ruins of a small Grecian temple, where long ago the ladies of the hall would sit to enjoy their books and needlework. Part of the roof had given way, and the pillars looked slightly crooked. It was not...

About the Author-
  • Lauren Owen was born in 1986. She studied at Oxford University and the University of East Anglia, where she received the 2009 Curtis Brown Prize for the best fiction dissertation. The Quick is her first novel. She lives in Northern England.
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Books on Tape
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
  • OverDrive WMA Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
    OverDrive WMA Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Not permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted (3 times)
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Bookshelf to manage your titles.

×

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Bookshelf?

×

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are permitted to recommend at this time.

×

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

×
×

×

To recommend The Quick, complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the New Hampshire Downloadable Books


We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×
Recommend this title to the library to be added to the Digital Collection
The Quick
The Quick
A Novel
Lauren Owen
×
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Quick
The Quick
A Novel
Lauren Owen
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
×
×

To recommend '', complete the following information:

*indicates required information

(comma separates multiple email addresses, i.e. bob@aol.com, bob@hotmail.com)

Subject: Check out this downloadable title at the New Hampshire Downloadable Books

We respect your privacy. Any and all information collected at this site will be kept strictly confidential and will not be sold, reused, rented, loaned, or otherwise disclosed.

×