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The Stranding

On sale

24th June 2021

Price: £14.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529340662

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‘A poignant and page turning apocalyptic tale of the foibles, strengths and hopes of humanity. I was gripped, both terrified and emotional throughout and I loved every minute of it.’ SIMON SAVIDGE

‘An immersive end of the world story full of hope and imagination’ THE GUARDIAN

‘A terrific debut. Brave, unexpected… transfixing and captivating… full of hope, resilience and love’ THE SUNDAY TIMES

‘Holds the big within the small, the intimate within the epic’ – Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies

‘A captivating read’ THE SUN

‘GORGEOUS and original and captivating’ – Marian Keyes, international bestselling author of Grown Ups

‘A captivating read… (a) beautiful, surprising novel’ FABULOUS

‘A novel that has stayed with me for weeks afterwards . . . Perceptive and unflinching’ – Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

A quiet, piercing contemplation on what really matters when it comes to the end of the world. Strange and beautiful’ – Abigail Dean, author of Girl A

‘Beautiful and harrowing but also optimistic and extremely moving . . . a truly arresting depiction of an unlikely relationship’ – Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

‘I didn’t want this book to end. It blew me away, and moved me beyond belief’ – Bryony Gordon, author of Mad Girl



Ruth lives in the heart of the city. Working, drinking, falling in love: the rhythm of her vivid and complicated life is set against a background hum of darkening news reports from which she deliberately turns away.

When a new romance becomes claustrophobic, Ruth chooses to leave behind the failing relationship, but also her beloved friends and family, and travels to the other side of the world in pursuit of her dream life working with whales in New Zealand.

But when Ruth arrives, the news cycle she has been ignoring for so long is now the new reality. Far from home and with no real hope of survival, she finds herself climbing into the mouth of a beached whale alongside a stranger. When she emerges, it is to a landscape that bears no relation to the world they knew before.

When all has been razed to the ground, what does it mean to build a life?

The Stranding is a story about the hope that can remain even when the world is changed beyond recognition.


Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder
Brilliant and original, THE STRANDING illuminates the beauty and fragility of humanity with a story so immersive and tender; I was surprised to find myself still in familiar surroundings when I surfaced from it. Kate Sawyer masterfully weaves a gripping narrative between a world disappeared and a world that must begin anew in this ultimately hopeful tale of love, loss and survival in the face of overwhelming odds. With characters you'll be thinking about long after the end, THE STRANDING is an absolute must read! Get one for yourself and one for a friend
Olia Hercules, author of Summer Kitchens
The Stranding is the perfect book, both intellectually stimulating and a page-turner. Kate Sawyer's writing awakened all of my senses, transported me into other worlds. I could not put it down
Julie Owen Moylan, author
What a fabulous piece of storytelling. So original and compelling and Kate Sawyer writes like a dream
Lex Croucher, author of Reputation
The Stranding is a breathtaking book about relationships, love and human resilience at the end of the world; it's beautifully written and I know I'll be thinking about it for a very long time!
Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne
Powerful, atmospheric and utterly transfixing
Alice Ash, author of Paradise Block
An extremely powerful, bold but unassuming book about connection, the planet, sexuality and family
Laura Carlin, author of The Wicked Cometh and Requiem for a Knave
Sensitive, gripping, thought-provoking and edifying, THE STRANDING is a book of our times, and reminds us that no life lives forever; how precious our moments are
Susannah Wise, author of This Fragile Earth
A beautiful, heart-wrenching, moving novel. The depth of love, passion and authentic feeling amongst the backdrop of a bleak post-apocalyptic world is quite extraordinary
Aliya Ali-Afzal, author of Would I Lie To You
The Stranding is an original, compelling and brilliantly written story. I loved the dual timelines of 'before' and 'after' and could not put it down. It's a thought-provoking and timely read, about hope, survival and the human spirit
Marianne Cronin, author The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot
A truly unique and gripping read
Kate Young, author of The Little Library Cookbook
It is extraordinary, and quietly revolutionary, for a novel centred around the end of the world to feel so affirming, so luminous, so hopeful. In both the Before and After times, Ruth's seeking of what it is that matters is moving, complex, and vividly drawn. I've not stopped thinking about The Stranding since I put it down
Gemma Reeves, author of Victoria Park
Kate Sawyer has created a dystopia so unerringly familiar that it can make you laugh and shiver simultaneously. Sensual and hopeful, this is a pacey and surprisingly relatable read
Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man
Post-apocalyptic fiction that's beautiful, moving and strangely uplifting
Jacqueline Bublitz, author of Before You Knew My Name
Haunting and hopeful. Eerie and evocative
Melinda Salisbury, author of Hold Back the Tide
A tender, affirming, luminous debut
Marian Keyes, international bestselling author of Grown Ups
It's GORGEOUS and original and captivating . . . Beautiful writing and characters I cared for as if they were my own family
Polly Crosby, author of THE ILLUSTRATED CHILD
A beautiful exploration of motherhood, stripped back to its barest, most fragile bones
Bryony Gordon, author of Mad Girl
I didn't want this book to end. It blew me away, and moved me beyond belief. I want to read it again and again and again
Katherine Webber, author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart
A stunning, unforgettable novel that I can't stop thinking about. A truly brilliant debut
Emer McLysaght, author Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling
This book is quite devastating but still left me with a gorgeous feeling of hope. The perfect blend of love, life and apocalypse
Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters.
Original, visceral, rich with themes of refuge and redemption, it's a beautifully imagined story about the hiding places in our hearts and minds
Bethany Clift, author of Last One At The Party
The Stranding is a soaring, lyrical and contemplative vision of the end of humanity. A beautiful story about learning to love yourself and others, and of experiencing the end of the world at the ends of the earth
Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other
Beautiful and harrowing but also optimistic and extremely moving . . . a truly arresting depiction of an unlikely relationship
Neema Shah, author of Kololo Hill
Wholly original, haunting and beautiful, this is a novel about life and survival, death and grief plus everything in between
Jamie Fewery, author of Our Life in a Day
This book absolutely captivated me. Ruth's story is full of love and hope, but is also brutally honest about mistakes, regrets and missteps, and how they impact our lives. The Stranding felt completely real, while being almost unimaginable. A unique, imaginative story that's brilliantly told. And a book that will stay with me for a very long time.
Abigail Dean, author of Girl A
A quiet, piercing contemplation on what really matters when it comes to the end of the world. Strange and beautiful
Elizabeth Lee author of Cunning Women
Kate Sawyer brings her settings to life - both the Before and After - with vivid detail. Peopled with characters that challenge stereotypes and linger in the mind long after reading, this is a moving story of love, loss and, despite all, hope. I loved it
Beautifully written, it's truly something special
Ellie Taylor, author of My Child and Other Mistakes
Incredibly moving, totally gripping and (considering it's about the end of the world and living in a dead whale) strangely relatable
Charlotte Northedge, author of The House Guest
A truly original and moving debut
Yorkshire Times
An exceptional debut
The Sunday Times
A terrific debut. Brave, unexpected . . . transfixing and captivation . . . full of hope, resilience and love
Fabulous Magazine
A captivating read . . . [a] beautiful, surprising novel
Waitrose Weekend Magazine
Captivating and strangely hopeful
A captivating read
Grazia’s Book Club
A compelling tale of what it means to be alive. It breaks your heart while filling it with hope. Kate's writing is beautiful
Sawyer's debut is an assured and intriguing character drama
Daily Mirror
Sawyer has done an especially brilliant job . . . a spellbinding fantasy of trading past mistakes for a clean start