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A Novel

by Simon Van Booy

Regular price $26.95 USD
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Product Details


ISBN: 978-1-567-92-794-8
Pages: 238
Size: 5.5 x 8.25
Published: May 2024
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Over the course of two weeks in a small English town, a reclusive widow discovers an unexpected reason to live.

Following the loss of her husband and son, Helen Cartwright returns to the village of her childhood after living abroad for six decades. Her only wish is to die quickly and without fuss. She retreats into her home on Westminster Crescent, becoming a creature of routine and habit: “Each day was an impersonation of the one before with only a slight shuffle—as though even for death there is a queue.”

Then, one cold winter night, a chance encounter with a mouse sets Helen on a surprising journey. 

Sipsworth is a reminder that there can be second chances. No matter what we have planned for ourselves, sometimes life has plans of its own. With profound compassion, Simon Van Booy illuminates not only a deep friendship forged between two lonely creatures, but the reverberations of goodness that ripple out from that unique bond.

Also by Simon Van Booy and available from Godine: Night Came with Many Stars and The Presence of Absence.

Praise for Simon Van Booy


“Simon Van Booy has performed another small literary miracle....trenchant and beautiful....countless passages beguile and move us.”
Washington Post

“In its quiet, loving way, Sipsworth feels as rare and special as a friend.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Enchanting . . . fresh and often funny, thanks to the author’s artful prose.”
Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

“Charming . . . generous . . . vibrant . . . reveal[s] something profound about the human need for connection.”
Foreword Reviews (starred review)

“Hypnotic prose . . . a surprising and heartwarming tale about loss and love . . . an extraordinary work of fiction based in everyday humanity.”
Joan Baum, Baum on Books, WSHU Public Radio

Sipsworth is a love story about a woman and a mouse. Reason suggests that such a relationship couldn’t possibly work, and yet I found myself pulling for this unlikely duo on every page. Simon Van Booy’s characters are loaded with charm, resilience, and the deep desire for connection that all mammals share. I loved it.”
Ann Patchett

“Through tears, laughter, joy, and pain, I just couldn’t stop reading this novel about friendship and second chances. Sipsworth is a marvel—storytelling at its absolute finest.”
Marc Levy

“Whimsical, beautifully detailed, and filled with heart, Sipsworth is a slim, sparkling jewel of a novel.”
Christina Baker Kline

The Presence of Absence
“Flows with depth and power....From its outset, The Presence of Absence runs blood-rich with declarations that make you inhale sharply....wide-open wonder.” —Washington Post
“Rich in setting and emotion. As ever with Van Booy, the reader is in good hands.” —Publishers Weekly
“Simon Van Booy electrifyingly combines story with parable. The Presence of Absence boggles and reverberates: wise, witty and always breathtakingly beautiful.” —San Francisco Chronicle, Best Fiction of the Year
“With its elegant passages on love and the fallibility of memory . . . this indelible portrait of transience, sorrow and hope will move readers.” —Shelf Awareness
Night Came with Many Stars
“It is a heartbreaking book, a gorgeous book...In Night Came with Many Stars, Van Booy finds the weakness, grace and beauty of common lives fully lived.” —NPR, “Books We Love”
“Not to miss!” —USA Today
“Kindness and raw luck undergird Night Came with Many Stars—echoing the trials and windfalls of Oliver Twist or David Copperfield. And like Dickens’s young heroes, Van Booy’s determined souls act with their whole hearts—as does this brave, fierce novel—to earn what good may come.” —Boston Globe
“Van Booy is a beautiful storyteller, and his latest offering is no exception.” —New York Post, “Best new books”
Simon Van Booy
Simon Van Booy is the award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen books for adults and children. He is the editor of three volumes of philosophy and has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, and the BBC. His books have been translated into many languages and optioned for film. Raised in rural North Wales, he currently lives in New York where he is also a book editor and a volunteer EMT for Central Park Medical Unit and R.V.A.C.

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Sipsworth, Simon Van Booy