It’s been 20 years, but Beverley Cottrell is slowly rebuilding her life. She had a great career, a loving husband, and a baby boy. Then the unimaginable happened. While her husband was picking up take-away Chinese, her infant son, Malakay, was snatched from the car, never to be found. Her marriage dissolved, and Beverley moved to London’s inner city to hide from the world. She eventually found some solace in teaching literature to impoverished neighborhood kids in an after-school program, but the best she could do was keep her pain at arm’s length. Now she notices an unfamiliar young man hanging around the area, then stalking her. Soon he slips past her building security and announces through the door that he is, in fact, her son. Author Newland is never concerned with the mystery of the kidnapping or the intervening years, but instead focuses on people facing tragedy, coping, and maybe struggling back into the light. The emotional tension is sometimes almost unbearable as a mother and son attempt to build a relationship out of their shared pain. A unique and very moving novel. --Wes Lukowsky
"A thrilling read, full of psychological tension and drama, the emotive account of one woman’s response to tragedy. Newland depicts his young characters humanely, compassionately. A stylish, confident novel."
--Yvvette Edwards, author of A Cupboard Full of Coats
"The abduction of a child would devastate any family. But what if that child returned, many years later, a young man and a stranger? Could that be even worse? The Gospel According to Cane is a gripping novel that's rich with both grief and great love. Courttia Newland is a fierce talent."
--Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine
"The Gospel According to Cane is a gripping tale of loss, despair, and hope of redemption. Courttia Newland continues to consolidate his reputation as a writer of depth and range."
--Linton Kwesi Johnson, author of Mi Revalueshanary Fren
"One of Britain's most important young black novelists...a truly gifted storyteller."
--Time Out London
"One of the most imaginative, free-thinking writers working today. I love his work."
--Sarah Hall, author of The Electrcic Michelangelo
"Courttia Newland blazes a literary path difficult to challenge, with a style so crisp, searing, and profoundly philosophical. His Gospel According to Cane is grippingly disturbing, pulled from the depth of human despair and sheer madness, possibly best understood in the realm of psychiatry."
--The Gleaner (Jamaica)
"Courttia Newland published his first novel in 1997, at the age of 23. His early fiction featured the kind of marginalised urban youngsters now fashionably ventriloquised in novels such as Pigeon English. But while his themes have long since expanded, he also remains true to his roots. His latest novel may have a middle-class, middle-aged African-Caribbean woman at its centre, but those same disaffected teenagers hover at its periphery...The Gospel According to Cane...is a coming-of-middle-age novel, but one seasoned with style and sophistication."
"This is an emotional novel; warm, prickly, tense, full of love, resentment and fear."
--The Independent (UK) (Brandon Robshaw)
"A nuanced palette of human emotion has been sensitively explored by Courttia Newland in his seven books. At the heart of his unflinching new novel is a profound examination of the causes and effects of pain."
--The Independent (UK) (Anita Sethi)