Striking and unusual, Polly Clark’s debut novel delves deep into one of the most isolating emotions we can feel: that of being a stranger. Two interwoven storylines unfold in the Scottish spa town of Helensburgh, eighty years apart, and spark unexpected connections between their two characters. One is Dora Fielding, a poet who has left her comfortable liberal world in London to move up north with her husband Kit. The other is also a poet: the young W.H. Auden, fresh from Oxford and trying to settle into a new career teaching at Larchfield boys’ school in Helensburgh.