Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England. She has written three novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize; Swimming Lessons; and Bitter Orange. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her husband.


  • “Timeless. . . . [a] shadowy family saga, which is marked by illicit love, violence and blood debts.”

    The Wall Street Journal

  • “Engrossing.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A simple but powerful story of rural poverty, sibling relationships and, perhaps above all, resilience.”


  • “Powerful. . . . fascinating.”


  • “One mystery after another arises and two siblings who have been left behind by the modern world face changes both gentle and profound.”

    —The Daily Beast

  • “A quiet tale of loss and survival.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “Transfixing.”

    Chicago Review of Books

  • “A winner.”

    —The Center for Fiction

  • “An unnerving and emotional novel of family secrets, vulnerability and resilience.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Rapturous.”

    The San Diego Union Tribune

  • “A page-turner. . . . reflecting the humble beauty of country life in every page, Unsettled Ground will appeal to a wide array of readers.”

    —Harvard Review

  • “Fuller has created a propulsive story that readers can’t help but get caught up in.”

    —Necessary Fiction

  • “Prepare for an experience of the English countryside that’s somewhat at odds with its typically idyllic depiction. . . . As the title suggests, at each turn there’s something new and unexpected.”


  • “Fuller paints a devastatingly haunting picture of abject poverty, especially in her descriptions of the houses they dwell in, each of which becomes a character in its own right. This tale offers a remarkable peek into how the embrace of family can completely smother other aspects of life. Nevertheless, human ingenuity persists. . . . It’s reassuring to think that reinvention is possible after all.”

    Booklist, Starred Review

  • “Revelatory. . . . a powerful, beautiful novel.”

    The Times

  • “An intriguing premise made more so by the paucity of novels featuring vulnerable older adults.”

    Financial Times

  • “Superb.”

    Daily Mail

  • “Evocative. . . . Fuller builds suspense over the twins’ fate and ends with a brilliant twist.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Fuller is a master of building suspense. . . . At once unsettling and hopeful, her book checks all the boxes of an engrossing mystery.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An intriguing, moving novel that will make you question assumptions you have about modern life.”

    —Tracy Chevalier

  • “A book like Unsettled Ground is why we read. . . . Written with tenderness and beauty, Unsettled Ground is not to be missed.”

    —Sherri Gallentine, Vroman’s Bookstore, BuzzFeed Best Books of Spring as Recommended by Booksellers

  • “If you’re a reader who lives for contemplative storytelling and perfectly wrought characters, this author is for you.”

    Book Page

  • “A gorgeously written and moving portrait of a family struggling against time.”

    —Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised

  • “Another sly psychological treat from Claire Fuller, who just keeps on getting better with each book.”

    —Laline Paull, The Ice

  • “Fuller’s prose is darkly elegant, her eye for character astute and humane, and her sense of place vividly atmospheric—here is a writer of great skill, sensitivity, and subtlety.”

    —Lucy Atkins, author of Magpie Lane

  • “Claire Fuller strikes the perfect balance between beauty and melancholy in this relevant and powerful exploration of isolation and life on the fringes of society.”

    —Clare Mackintosh, author of After the End

  • Bitter Orange twists and bends, arouses and agitates, like a seductive nightmare. . . . With sensations so alive on the page, you’re constantly kept on your toes, attuned to the mania. You’ll ask, beguiled: What’s really going on here?”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “In the vein of Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling The Haunting of Hill House, Fuller’s disturbing novel will entrap readers in its twisty narrative, leaving them to reckon with what is real and what is unreal. . . . An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece.”

    Kirkus, Starred Review

  • “Fuller is a master of propulsive action, making the ground spin as each unreliable narrator takes center stage. Every measured sentence builds on itself with the crumbling estate providing the saturated backdrop for this ultimately macabre tale. [Bitter Orange] offers a gripping and unsettling look at the ugly side of extreme need and the desperate measures taken in the name of love.”

    Booklist, Starred Review

  • “Cannily releasing clues on the way to an explosive finale, Fuller moves fluidly between the time of the story and a period 20 years later . . . The lush setting and remarkable characters make for an immersive mystery.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “English mansion? Check. Dazzling couple? Check. Yearning outsider? Now you have all the ingredients for a psychological powder keg, ready to explode during the summer of ’69.”


  • “Fuller is a master of the quietly eerie; she’s excellent at creating an aura of pervasive dread—and sustaining it till the very last page.”


  • “A twisty, thorny, darkly atmospheric page-turner.”

    —Gabriel Tallent, author of My Absolute Darling

  • “Like Daphne du Maurier’s RebeccaBitter Orange sings, enchants, haunts. If not for Claire Fuller’s stunning language and mastery of control, I’d have succumbed to the temptation to blaze through these pages just to see how the suspense resolves. A beautiful novel.”

    —Daniel Magariel, author of One of the Boys

  • “A rich, dark pressure cooker of a novel that simmers with slow heat and suppressed tension.”

    —Ruth Ware, author of The Woman in Cabin 10

  • “Claire Fuller is such an elegant writer and this book is incredibly atmospheric, vivid, and intriguing. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t reading a forgotten classic.”

    —Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth Is Missing

  • “A book that will make you late for work, will compel you to cancel plans.”

    —Elizabeth Willis, Avid Bookshop

  • Bitter Orange represents the very best of literary mystery.”

    —Joanne Berg, Mystery to Me

  • Bitter Orange is an enticing journey down the rabbit hole of destructive relationships with a twist at the end that is totally shocking! My seduction began at page one!”

    —Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette

  • “Extraordinarily smart and psychologically shrewd . . . You will be kept guessing until the final penetrating sentence.”

    —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

  • “A deeply moving read, with a mystery that keeps you turning pages.”, Editor's Pick

  • “Eloquent, harrowing, raw . . . sure to keep readers inching off their seats.”


  • “Delicious! Claire Fuller’s Swimming Lessons is a kind of anticozy cozy mystery.”

    —NPR, Best Books of 2017

  • “Beautiful . . . [Fuller] delves deeply to examine the legacies of a flawed and passionate marriage.”

    Booklist, Starred Review

  • “Saving the best for last with revelations and surprises, Fuller’s well-crafted, intricate tale captures the strengths and shortcomings of ordinary people to show how healing is possible by confronting the darkest places.”

    Library Journal, Starred Review

  • “A tantalizing mystery.”


  • “A perfect book club pick.”

    Book Riot

  • “A ‘choose your own adventure’ story for adults . . . A haunting, motivating, and fantastic read.”

    —Steph Opitz, Book of the Month Club Pick