‘A restrained tour-de-force, profoundly unsettling, brilliantly executed, and deeply humane . . . remarkable’ Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
Judith has been visiting her mother, Stephanie, in prison once a month for the last eight years. Nearly a hundred stilted half hours – hundreds of failed conversations, hundreds of topics avoided. Neither of them can bring themselves to talk about what brought them here – or about Nathaniel . . .
When Stephanie first meets him, she is a struggling single mother and Nathaniel is a charismatic outsider, unlike anyone she’s ever known. In deciding to join the small religious cult he has founded high on the moors, Stephanie thinks she is doing the best for her daughter: a new home, a new life, a new purpose.
Judith has never trusted Nathaniel, but even she can’t foresee the terrible things that lie ahead. From the moment they arrive, the delicate dynamic of Nathaniel’s followers is disturbed. Judith’s restlessness and questions unsettle the children who’ve never known life outside the cult – all except loyal Moses, who will do anything to be her friend. Meanwhile, as Stephanie slowly surrenders herself to Nathaniel’s will, tensions deepen, faith and doubt collide, and a horrifying act of violence changes everything. In the shattering aftermath, no one seems safe, and for Judith and Moses the biggest leap of faith is still to come . . .
Powerful, gripping, and impossible to forget, Rebecca Wait’s The Followers is a novel about love, hope, and identity that asks timely questions. Are we still responsible for our actions if we remake ourselves in someone else’s image? And is there any way back . . . ?