Set in a 1960s English new town, Your Fault charts one boy’s childhood from first memory to first love. A year older in each chapter, Peter’s story is told to him by his future self as he attempts to recreate the optimism and futurism of the 1960s, and to reveal how that utopianism fares as it emerges into the Seventies. It’s an untold story of British working class experience, written with extraordinary precision and tenderness.
‘Beautifully crafted, unsettling and vivid, this book perfectly highlights the subtleties and mysteries of everyday life, creating a world which seems ordinary even while something ominous bubbles just beneath the surface. The narrative balances between a kind of universality and an arresting specificity, exploring the relationship between memory and guilt, as it builds towards its electrifying ending.’ —Emma Healey
‘Cowan’s writing is observant and unsentimental, wryly funny and tragic, and his portrait of post-war Britain finds humour and heart in the most unlikely details.’ —D. W. Wilson
‘Andrew Cowan’s latest novel is a brilliant guided tour of a childhood, full of his typically sharp insights into family tenderness and regret. Technically daring, emotionally rewarding, I haven’t read anything quite like it.’ —Richard Beard
‘This is an exceptional work of fiction.’ —Naomi Wood
‘Your Fault is a novel written under the microscope. Both unnerving and witty, it manages to embrace every little detail of childhood in the sixties. From England’s World Cup win, to pavements littered with moulding dog dirt, Matchbox replica cars and digging for worms in the flower bed. Plus, some truly tender moments, like his mother pressing a flannel to Peter’s eyes as she pours cup after cup of warm water onto his head to rinse off the bath suds, before seeing him off for his first day at school. Andrew Cowan scrutinises each of these memories in an act of extraordinary craft.’ —Lee Wright, Head Stuff