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About the book:

Idioglossia: 1)a secret language between a few people, a private language 2) A lallation, babble of babies or the murmurs of lunatics

Four generations of women confront the intangibility of madness in this mesmerising tale of loss, isolation and redeeming love. The ebb and flow of their lives is painfully and beautifully captured from the 1960s, when a young Maggie experiences the joys and agonies of love for the first time, to the harsh look at Grace's days in a mental ward in the 1990s.

The frail, feisty matriarch of this damaged dynasty is Great Aunt Edie--dominating the lives of her granddaughter and great-granddaughter but strangely and cruelly rejecting her own child, Grace. Spurned, Grace relinquishes her grip on reality--a drowned soul, she slips through the looking glass. Maggie is the distant, dogmatic one--a by-product of the lives that came before. And, finally, there is Sarah--the youngest--who storms and rages against her existence, terrified and tempted by the forbidden waves that engulfed her grandmother.

Eleanor Bailey's debut novel Idioglossiais a gracefully controlled, shimmering tale of a family struggling for acceptance of themselves and of each other after years of misunderstanding, heartbreak and recrimination. --Nicola Perry

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