The Art of Leaving

By Anna Stothard

ISBN: 9781846882371

272 pages

RRP: £6.39

Leaving comes naturally to Eva Elliott: she spent her childhood abandoning schools and cities. Now she enjoys the thrill of saying goodbye much more than the butterflies of a first smile or kiss. There’s so much more potential in walking away, and Eva has a dangerously vivid imagination.

During a rainy summer in London, where Eva lives in a rackety Soho flat with her boyfriend, she dreams of exit strategies. She becomes fascinated by a golden eagle who has escaped the Zoo to roam the city, and thinks up stories about the ghostly figure of a girl who lurks in the window of a strip club opposite her office. When a beguiling stranger called Grace turns up in Eva’s life armed with a conspiratorial smile and an unsettling secret, Eva is left unsure what is in her head and what is reality. In this haunting story about exits and departures, Anna Stothard reveals that love has its fault lines and freedom comes at a price.

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  • A stunningly accurate and chilling account of the acquiring of emotional wisdom, with vividly drawn characters.

    Kate Saunders
    The Sunday Times

  • Anna Stothard’s third book, after the much-praised Isabel and Rocco and The Pink Hotel, confirms her talent: the prose here can be transfixingly good.

    The Independent

  • A runaway success for Anna Stothard

    London Evening Standard

  • A strikingly original novel

    The Good Book Guide

  • A witty, beguiling and increasingly poignant novel about the scars – physical and psychological – that make us who we are, and about the messy business of love and loss.

    The Lady

  • Anna Stothard's third novel cements her place as one of Britain's best young authors … Stothard's lush, dreamy prose is given full rein during Eva's frequent flights of fancy.

    Literary Review

  • Stothard gets her talons into you … read it for its beguiling heroine and sparky prose.


  • Stothard’s writing is accomplished and very engaging.

    The Times

  • The characters developed throughout the story, and each one was so engaging that you wanted to get to know them better … Stothard's style of writing moves the story on effectively.

    Newbooks Magazine

  • The great strength of this book is the lovely London atmosphere; Regents Park, Fitzrovia, the winding streets of Soho, all of which Anna describes so well.

    The Daily Mail

Anna Stothard

Anna Stothard lived in Los Angeles for two years, studying at the American Film Institute, before returning to London. She has written weekly columns in the Observer and the Sunday Telegraph, as well as articles in other newspapers. Her first novel, Isabel and Rocco, was published in 2004, followed by The Pink Hotel in 2011, which was longlisted for the Orange prize and has been translated all over the world, and The Art of Leaving in 2013. She lives in Chalk Farm, London.