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Louise Doughty

whatever-you-loveWhatever You Love

Shortlisted for the Costa Fiction Prize 2010

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011

‘We think of our lives as linear, with a clear beginning and middle and end. The line is inexorable: time itself. Betty's death stopped time. The line dissolved and life became a point, fixed on the day that Betty died.’

When two police officers knock on Laura's door, her life changes forever. Her nine-year-old daughter Betty has been hit by a car and killed, and Laura is left both devastated and desperate for revenge against the man responsible for Betty's death.

Laura's grief re-opens old wounds and she is thrown back to the story of her passionate love affair with Betty's father David, their marriage and his subsequent affair with another woman. When does lust become sexual jealousy? And when does the desire for justice become a bitter thirst for violence? What are the boundaries between love and the desire for possession or control? Haunted by her past, and driven to breaking point by her desire for retribution, Laura discovers the lengths she is willing to go to for love.


“Gripping, absorbing, beautifully constructed and written with great sensitivity” Hilary Mantel

“Brutal, fearless and masterfully told, this is a story of immense emotional power, and for all its bleakness, oddly beautiful. In this white-knuckle ride into the darkest reaches of the human heart, Doughty has conjured a work of such terrible force it should carry a health warning.” Liz Jensen 

“(written) with great insight and raw, compelling emotional power” Helen Dunmore


Published by

UK / Faber & Faber

US / HarperCollins

Germany / C. Bertelesmann

Netherlands / Artemis

France / Belfond

Denmark / Aben Maler

Spain / Random House Mondadori