‘When I was fourteen I did something terrible. At least, that’s what some people tell me.’
Four teenagers make a pact to lose their virginity away from the watchful eyes of parents and priest. Fifteen years later, they reflect on the past and unravel how it all went so horribly wrong.
‘Terrific. A story that’s intriguing, puzzling and entirely gripping.’ – Philip Pullman
‘Original and gripping, this novel stands out from the crowd. I’m sure Sophie Coulombeau is destined to become a literary star of the future.’ – Sophie Hannah
‘Rites is a powerful read that has you questioning the wisdom of any adult and the innocence of any child. The story Coulombeau tells is an everyman tale of desire, friendship and betrayal. Behind it is a mind that takes nothing at face value: not love, not desire and not the violence that we are capable of doing to one another.’ – Fiona Shaw
‘A compelling and provocative multi-stranded narrative with a high-concept hook, this is a story told in many voices which is always risky but Coulombeau pulls it off beautifully. In a further challenge to the reader, the novel also comes down on the side of there being no such thing as objective truth when it comes to different people’s memories of the same experience. Coulombeau’s unflinchingly clear-headed analysis of the human psyche is deeply refreshing.’ – Sunday Express
‘There is a a clear-sighted lack of sentimentality about the way Sophie allows her characters to expose themselves through their own words. It is utterly un-put-downable. Don’t even pick it up if you have to get up early for work the next morning.’ – The Press
‘We are the wiser as citizens to have been educated by the writer… Immensely readable and lucid. ’ – Dig
Sophie Coulombeau was brought up in Manchester. She studied at Trinity College, Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently worked for the British Civil Service in London and the European Commission in Brussels. She is currently reading for a doctorate in English Literature at the University of York. Rites is her first novel.
Sophie blogs at sophiecoulombeau.wordpress.com