The disquieting story of an unidentified man as told by those who crossed paths with him on the last day of his life, Sheila Armstrong's debut novel is haunting, lyrical and darkly suspenseful.
On an isolated beach set against a lonely, windswept coastline, a pale figure sits serenely against a sand dune staring out to sea.
His hands are folded neatly in his lap, his ankles are crossed and there is a faint smile on his otherwise lifeless face. Months later, after a fruitless investigation, the nameless stranger is buried in an unmarked grave. But the mystery of his life and death lingers on, drawing the nearby villagers into its wake.
From strandings to shipwrecks, it is not the first time that strangeness has washed up on their shores. Told through a chorus of voices, Falling Animals follows the crosshatching threads of lives both true and imagined, real and surreal, past and present. Slowly, over great time and distance, the story of one man, alone on a beach, begins to unravel.
Elegiac and atmospheric, dark and disquieting, Sheila Armstrong s debut novel marks her arrival as one of the most uniquely gifted writers at work in literary fiction today.