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Only Here, Only Now

On sale

13th June 2024

Price: £18.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781399607896

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‘This isn’t just a great first novel; it’s a great novel. And Cora, the mad, chaotic, wise, funny narrator, is one of the great characters’
RODDY DOYLE

‘It’s not every day you read a modern classic. But this feels destined to become one. A thunderous achievement’
NATHAN FILER, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL

Only Here, Only Now heralds the arrival of an urgent and unique new voice’
DAVID PEACE

‘Cora Mowat is a feisty, Impulse-drenched, Lilt-blooded smasher of a main character and Tom Newland’s prose is fierce and tender, taking us straight to the thudding heart of Cora’s chaotic life’
VICTORIA MACKENZIE, author of FOR THY GREAT PAIN HAVE MERCY ON MY LITTLE PAIN

Fife, in the blazing hot summer of 1994. Cora Mowat’s mates don’t understand her, but then Cora Mowat doesn’t understand herself. She’s stuck on a seaside council estate full of dafties, old folk and seagulls, with a thousand dreams and a restless brain that won’t behave. She’s dying to escape but unsure of what the future holds – if it holds anything at all for a girl like her.

When her Mam’s new boyfriend moves in, tensions rise in their tiny house. Gunner means well, but he’s dodgy – a shaven-headed shoplifter with more than a few secrets stashed under the bed. As their attempts to forge a makeshift family unravel, Cora rails against her small-town existence in search of love, acceptance and a path to something good. But sometimes you can’t move forward until you find your way back . . .

In this extraordinary debut, drawn from life but written with riotous imagination, Tom Newlands explores what it means to come of age in a forgotten corner of Scotland and dream of a life that feels out of reach. Vibrant, lyrical and fiercely funny, Only Here, Only Now is a story about poverty, identity and family that shines with hope and resilience.

‘Tom Newlands is the real thing. His story will change you’
MICHAEL SHEEN

‘A funny, truthful, heartbreaking yet hopeful read’
JENNIE GODFREY, author of THE LIST OF SUSPICIOUS THINGS

‘A piercing howl of a novel, sharp, elegant and humane. I loved it’
KARL GEARY, author of JUNO LOVES LEGS

Reviews

Michael Sheen
Tom Newlands is the real thing. His story will change you
Daily Express
Heartbreaking and hilarious . . . the story of a Scottish girl with undiagnosed ADHD, trying to make sense of the world
Roddy Doyle
This isn't just a great first novel; it's a great novel. And Cora, the mad, chaotic, wise, funny narrator, is one of the great characters
Cathi Unsworth, author of Weirdo, Bad Penny Blues
In a tremendous act of empathy, in his debut novel Tom Newlands describes both an abandoned, neglected landscape - the small Scottish seaside town of Muircross after the collapse of the mining industry - and what it is like to be inside the mind of a young girl, Cora Mowat, who has undiagnosed ADHD. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, this is a story of survival against grim odds, superbly spun by a narrator grappling to get to grips with both herself and the incomprehensible world around her. Cora Mowat is my kind of weirdo
BBC Culture
A coming-of-age novel that takes the reader inside the brilliant, fizzing mind of a teenage girl with ADHD growing up in post-industrial Scotland. Funny and fierce
Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
It's not every day you read a modern classic. But this feels destined to become one. A thunderous achievement
Jennie Godfrey, author of The List of Suspicious Things
A funny, truthful, heartbreaking yet hopeful read
David Peace
Only Here, Only Now heralds the arrival of an urgent and unique new voice, as engaging and as startling as Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Morvern Callar or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and will surely be hailed as one of the great British debut novels
Amy Twigg, author of Spoilt Creatures
I loved Only Here, Only Now. Tender, achingly funny and full of truth
Observer
Rich and vivid . . . Tom Newlands may make several prize lists for his stunning debut, a portrait of a teenager with undiagnosed ADHD in a working-class, post-industrial community in Scotland . . . Newlands's impulsive, bold protagonist, who dreams big despite having very little, is richly layered . . . This sprawling coming-of-age tale explores poverty, belonging, grief and rage, and Newlands writes with such energy that his book, though bleak, is hard to put down . . . But what impresses most is the author's compassion for his flawed characters. There's humour as well as love, hope and resilience in this accomplished novel
Guardian
Glorious . . . so unusual, so moving, so memorable . . . Cora's neurodivergence is vividly, uniquely present . . . Newlands casts a new light on the experience of living with ADHD
Karl Geary, author of Juno Loves Legs
Tom Newland's Only Here, Only Now is a piercing howl of a novel, sharp, elegant and humane. I loved it
Christopher Brookmyre, author of Quite Ugly One Morning
A breathtaking debut from an exciting new storytelling talent. Wise, funny, tragic and hopeful.Cora and her world are heart-rendingly authentic
Herald
Think Shuggie Bain. Think Trainspotting. Think The Cutting Room. You can add Tom Newlands to that list. Only Here, Only Now is the Scottish writer's debut novel and it's a brammer . . . A vivid, synesthetic piece of writing . . . What's thrilling is that the book goes in the directions you are not expecting. And at its heart there is the unmistakeable voice of this flawed, messy, anxious, kind of heroic teenage girl. The Scottish book of the summer
Victoria MacKenzie, author of For Thy Great Pain Have Mercy On My Little Pain
Only Here, Only Now is one of the best debuts I've read in years. Cora Mowat is an iconic heroine, growing up against the odds; she's a feisty, Impulse-drenched, Lilt-blooded smasher of a main character and Tom Newland's prose is fierce and tender, taking us straight to the thudding heart of Cora's chaotic life. A wonderful, gut-wrenching, heart-soaring novel
Katherine May, author of Wintering
An astonishing debut, full of grit, humour and truth. I defy you not to fall in love with Cora Mowat