We all Ran Into the Sunlight

Set in the shimmering landscape of the southern Cevennes, Natalie Young’s novel alternates between the years immediately after the Second World War and the present day to explore a dark family secret and its ripple effect on people’s lives. It is a heart-breaking story of love and ownership, misplaced desire and the damage done when the truth is withheld.

Kate and Stephen Glover in need of a break from their hectic London life go on a winter sabbatical in the secluded French village of Canas. The slow pace of life there affects them in different ways. While Stephen feels increasingly restless, Kate finds herself drawn to the village and to the beautiful, derelict chateau at its heart.

But soon Kate’s daily excursions over the chateau wall are spreading rumours among the locals. What she doesn’t know is that the house has a terrible legacy, and her private journey of escape and self-discovery is threatening to reawaken the trauma of a family, broken apart one summer’s night more than fifty years before.


The past grabs hold and will not let you go in this uncanny and beautiful novel. Strange and delicious in the manner of Rebecca. —Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

We All Ran Into the Sunlight is the sort of intricate invention that only a few masters like Ian McEwan or Graham Greene could assemble. This novel will mesmerize you and it will break your heart. —Stefan Merrill Block, author of the Story of Forgetting

How extraordinary is the mind of the writer. Natalie Young has created a near-Gothic story of obsession and desire, set against the background of a sinister chateau, in both postwar and contemporary France. Definitely not for the faint-hearted… A true tour de force. —Mavis Cheek

Sensuously and evocatively detailed, its roots dive deep into the physical and psychological damage inflicted by war –Daily Mail

Ensnares the reader in an eerie web of elusive family secrets in an atmospheric French village —The Times

The chiaroscuro drama of dark and light characterises this novel of the past impinging on the present. —The Guardian

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