Skip to Content

The House at the Edge of the World shortlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize

The House at the Edge of the World has been placed on the short list for the Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction 2016, which showcases debut novelists in the UK and Ireland.

Here’s an extract from a Q&A with Julia. To read the full version visit the Desmond Elliott Prize website.


Meet our 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize authors in this series of interviews.

We talked to Julia Rochester about her longlisted novel, The House at the Edge of the World.

John Venton’s drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an embarrassing ghost. His twin children flee in separate directions to take up their adult lives. Their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, embraces merry widowhood. Only their grandfather finds solace in the crumbling family house, endlessly painting their story onto a large canvas map, a map that holds a devastating secret.

The Desmond Elliott Prize judges said: ‘Julia Rochester cunningly compounds elements of the paranormal, the folkloric and the legendary into this unholy saga of a family if not blessed then infinitely beguiling. […] It begins with a death but declines the label of a detective story. There might have been murder but there is little rush to find a body, or a perpetrator. Here the writer’s plot, and the readers’ pleasure, lies in impeccably mapping a mystery of the human heart.’

Read more…