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Harriet Mansfield, brave, wry and handsome, is determined to triumph no matter what. With a decade of therapy under her belt and a new large inheritance, it seems there is nothing she cannot achieve.

So she decides to open the school of her dreams. To her precious little girls, rich in everything but care, she vows to provide the happiest childhoods in the world. For everyone knows that early years passed in delightful ways can set you up for life.

But can this ambitious new departure spill some retrospective sweetness onto Harriet’s own harsh beginnings, or better still cancel them out altogether? Will the family she’s estranged from ever grant her the recognition she craves?

Written with deep psychological insight and coal-black humour The Small Hours is a stunning meditation on love, self-love and forgiveness, and their shadowy opposites.

Reviews

Boyt is a compassionate chronicler of the human heart . . . The point of this novel is not whether your dreams succeed or fail, but whether you're still willing to risk having dreams at all. In Harriet Mansfield, Boyt has drawn a character whose moral and emotional courage is both convincing and heartbreaking
Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times
The Small Hours excites with refined delights . . . Boyt's economical prose remains elegantly polished, her descriptions of the subtleties of psychotherapy spine-tingling . . . A meaty yet accessible novel possessing great psychological rigour
Lucy Beresford, Sunday Times
The Small Hours is an absolute gem of a novel: exquisite, diamond-bright and lacerating to the hardest of hearts
Amanda Craig, Literary Review