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The High House by Jessie Greengrass

The High House, by Jessie Greengrass

Francesca is Caro's stepmother, and Pauly's mother. A scientist, she can see what is going to happen. The high house was once her holiday home; now looked after by locals Grandy and Sally, she has turned it into an ark, for when the time comes. The mill powers the generator; the orchard is carefully pruned; the greenhouse has all its glass intact. Almost a family, but not quite, they plant, store seed, and watch the weather carefully.

A stunning novel of the extraordinary and the everyday, The High House explores how we get used to change that once seemed unthinkable, how we place the needs of our families against the needs of others - and it asks us who, if we had to, we would save.

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Our review

‘You think you have time. And then, all at once, you don’t.'

Shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award, Jessie Greengrass’ sophomore novel, The High House is a poignant climate-fiction novel following the lives of four people in the wake of climate disaster: Caro, the stepdaughter of the scientist who predicted what would happen, her half-brother Pauly, and live in-caretakers Sally and her granddad.

In The High House, a sanctuary converted to outlast the seemingly inevitable apocalypse, they learn to live together and take care of each other, watching as the wild world outside their windows struggles to cope with the changes, and the ever-encroaching floodwaters make the reality of their future harder and harder to consolidate.

This is a deep and moving examination of human connection that asks us to consider the convenience of our current lives, and how the decisions made for our planet can change everything.

Wild Reads Book Choice

The High House is part of our Wild Reads project in partnership with Suffolk Wildlife Trust, celebrating the connection between the natural world and the written word.

Enjoyed this title? Let us know what you think on Twitter by tagging @SuffolkLibrary and @SuffolkWildlife and using the hashtag #WildReads.

Supporting booklist

Inspired by Jessie Greengrass' The High House, this month's Wild Reads theme is human connection to nature and the decisions we make that influence our planet. Explore our supporting titles on climate fiction and how we can all make a difference.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust have shared a list of local nature reserves inspired by The High House. From ancient woods to windswept marshes, Suffolk Wildlife Trust's nature reserves are as varied as the animals and plants that live in them.

The High House is our unlimited audiobook for May. Listen to this title on BorrowBox →

Watch our recent interview with Jessie Greengrass.