Identical twins Georgia and Bessi live in the loft of 26 Waifer Avenue, a place of beanbags, nectarines and secrets, and visitors must always knock before entering. Down below there is not much harmony. Their mother has mysterious ways of dealing with her homesickness for Nigeria; their father has angry ways of dealing with his demons. Forced to create their own identities, the Hunter children build a separate universe in which older sister Bel acts as nurturer and rebel, and baby sister Kemy tries to be the third twin.
During a long sojourn in Nigeria, harsh realities come knocking and the fantasies of childhood start to give way. How will Georgia and Bessi cope in a world of separateness, fear and solitude, and which is them will be stronger?
Reviews of 26a
‘This sparky debut novel... Enthralling from the first page, this bittersweet fusion of fairytales and nightmares is sugared by nostalgia and salted with sadness’
Hephzibah Anderson, Daily Mail
'This is a satisfying book, full of energy and charm'
Christina Koning, The Times
'Very enjoyable. Evans writes with tremendous verve and dash. Her ear for dialogue is superb, and she has wit and sharp perception. A consistently readable book filled with likeable characters: a study of loss that has great heart and humour'
'A serious and accomplished first novel, an affecting study of togetherness and separation in a family, a marriage and, most importantly, between the twins'
'An exciting and vibrant read. It's a weird and wonderful fairy-tale about the lives of twins. 26a is brilliant and a great read'
'Poetic, complex and lingering'
'Highly coloured, linguistically inventive. Evans has a powerful and often beguiling imagination'
'Sensual and poetic, as well as powerful and uncompromising. A mature, compelling and beautiful first novel'
Times Literary Supplement
'A dazzling debut. I adored this book; I defy anyone to read the final pages without tears in their eyes. Easily the best book of the year so far'
'The writing is both mature and freshly perceptive, creating not only a warmly funny novel of a Neasden childhood - with its engaging minutiae of flapjacks and icepops, lip gloss and daisy hairclips - but a haunting account of the loss of innocence and mental disintegration'
Maya Jaggi, Guardian