Sipsworth (Hardcover)

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Sipsworth By Simon Van Booy Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Having lost her long-time husband and her adult son, Helen Cartwright has returned home to the town where she grew up, with no plans beyond dying there. But this end game is interrupted by the arrival of a mouse. As she figures out what to do, her solitary life is punctured by the folks she must consult to solve the problem – a hardware store owner, a librarian, a doctor. Imagine the twists of Fredrik Backman, the philosophy of Matt Haig, and the animal bonding of Shelby Van Pelt, all told in a playful yet heartfelt style that is recognizably Simon Van Booy’s.

— Daniel Goldin

May 2024 Indie Next List

“Simon Van Booy performs a special type of alchemy by taking the simplest of tales — a woman approaching the end of her life discovering a small mouse in her house — and turning it into an astonishingly moving story of love and resilience.”
— Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA


Over the course of two weeks in a small English town, a reclusive widow discovers an unexpected reason to live.

Following the loss of her husband and son, Helen Cartwright returns to the village of her childhood after living abroad for six decades. Her only wish is to die quickly and without fuss. She retreats into her home on Westminster Crescent, becoming a creature of routine and habit: "Each day was an impersonation of the one before with only a slight shuffle--as though even for death there is a queue."

Then, one cold winter night, a chance encounter with a mouse sets Helen on a surprising journey.

Sipsworth is a reminder that there can be second chances. No matter what we have planned for ourselves, sometimes life has plans of its own. With profound compassion, Simon Van Booy illuminates not only a deep friendship forged between two lonely creatures, but the reverberations of goodness that ripple out from that unique bond.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781567927948
ISBN-10: 1567927947
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English