When a charismatic new teacher arrives, everyone longs to be her pet. A gripping story of deception and guilt, set in a Catholic school during the 1980s.
The new novel from the WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION longlisted and DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD shortlisted author of Remote Sympathy
“Chidgey is a find.”
—TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
“A writer of formidable resources, a deft stylist possessed of uncanny imaginative acuity.”
Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine's sense that something isn't quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Young as she is, Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.
Set in New Zealand in the 1980s and probing themes of racism, misogyny and the oppressive reaches of Catholicism, Pet will take a rightful place next to other classic portraits of childhood betrayal: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Go-Between, Heavenly Creatures and Au Revoir Les Enfants among them.
Catherine Chidgey’s novels have been published to international acclaim. Her first, In a Fishbone Church, won Best First Book at the NZ Book Awards and at the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific). In the UK it won the Betty Trask Award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second, Golden Deeds, was a Notable Book of the Year in the New York Times and a Best Book in the LA Times. Catherine has won the Prize in Modern Letters, the Katherine Mansfield Award, the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship and the Janet Frame Fiction Prize. She lives in Ngāruawāhia, NZ, and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Waikato. Her novel Remote Sympathy was shortlisted for the DUBLIN Literary Award and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her novels The Wish Child and The Axeman’s Carnival both won the Acorn Prize for Fiction, NZ's most prestigious literary award.