Under their feet lies magic…
When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.
‘Delicate, evocative prose telling an intriguing story with contemporary relevance, insight and compassion’ Live and Deadly
‘Gritty, yet beautifully written; fantastical, yet down-to-earth; gripping and moving’ A Discount Ticket to Everywhere
‘An intricate piece of work, showing off author West Camel’s skill in weaving words and phrases together to create a great debut novel’ Off-The-Shelf Books
‘Up to date, gritty and dark yet filled with a magic that is unique and uplifting. Attend is adventurous, charming and utterly compelling’ Random Things Through My Letterbox
‘A literary Eastenders, with precision language and beautifully interwoven storytelling … I couldn’t put it down’ Liz Loves Books
‘Oh my, I have quite fallen in love with this absolutely glorious and spellbinding tale. A wonderful infusion of themes means ‘Attend’ quite rightly, refuses to be labelled. Set in Deptford, London the streets, houses, and locations are as eloquently described and important as the characters. Skirting the violent criminal underbelly of the town and exploring the struggle of addiction, the story hovers within touching distance of an unseen mysterious power that planted itself in my mind and continued to lurk and explore my thoughts and feelings. The enigmatic and almost otherworldly Deborah sits centre stage, acting as a magnet, weaving Sam and Anne into her story. ‘Attend’ has a deliciously dark fairy tale quality that sits alongside the heartfelt realism of life quite beautifully. This is West Camel’s debut, his writing is alluring and sang out to me, I simply cant wait to see what comes next. I recommend ‘Attend’ with every fibre of my being, it has must-read stamped all over it … a beautiful contemporary must-read story full of soul, darkness, and magical light’ Liz Robinson, Love Reading
Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.
‘This is magical writing of the highest quality that will transport any reader to the darkest corners of Deptford. These are real people; people that have had the hardest of knocks and the most troubled of lives, yet they can be transformed by the magic of an old woman’s memories. There’s a huge sadness running through Attend. The sadness of lives that have been wasted, of regrets and hidden secrets. There’s also a sense of joy; little sparks throughout the story that scream of hope and redemption and an ending that seems to release the characters from their mistakes. Up to date, gritty and dark yet filled with a magic that is unique and uplifting. Attend is adventurous, charming and utterly compelling’ Random Things Through My Letterbox