In bed at home in Kent, Winston Churchill is waking up. There's a visitor in the room, someone he hasn't seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him with tortured concentration.
It's Mr Chartwell.
In her terraced house in Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.
It's Mr Chartwell.
He is charismatic and dangerously seductive, and Esther and Winston Churchill are drawn together by his dark influence. But can they withstand Mr Chartwell's strange, powerful charms and strong hold? Can they even explain to anyone who or what he is? Or why he has come to visit?
For Mr Chartwell is a huge, black dog.
In this utterly original, moving, funny and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr Chartwell's motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they seem.
Rebecca Hunt graduated from Central Saint Martins College with a first class honours degree in fine art. She lives and works in London. Mr Chartwell is her first novel.
A remarkable debut. These are some of the best evocations of depression you'll read
Extraordinary. Owing to Hunt's robust, intelligent style and ingenuiuty and compassion with which she deals with her story, it is very good indeed
Offers a powerful evocation of depression. Brilliantly original and thought-provoking. She tackles a serious topic with humour and intelligence and marks herself out as one to watch
Moving. Hunt treats her heavy themes with a light, intelligent touch and writes with a distinctive blend of humour, restraint and insight
Marvellously original, tender and funny debut novel. Rebecca Hunt proves herself to be a gifted writer who has no need of fictional realism to deliver profound truths
A real joy to read: funny, clever and original. A darkly comic debut that hits all the right notes
Inventive and original
Utterly gripping, truly innovative, beautifully written. One of those novels which knocks you sideways with the brilliance of the idea behind it