The Followers

Followers cover

‘A restrained tour-de-force, profoundly unsettling, brilliantly executed, and deeply humane . . . remarkable’ – Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

‘…a great surging shout of a novel.’ – Guardian

‘Confident…beguiling…truly moving’ – Independent


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Judith has been visiting her mother Stephanie in prison once a month for the last eight years. Hundreds of conversations, hundreds of topics avoided. She still can’t bring herself to talk about what brought them here – or about Nathaniel, the charismatic outsider whose close-knit religious cult high on the moors destroyed their relationship. Judith’s only salvation lies in the loyalty of Moses, a boy who had never known life outside the cult until the horrifying act of violence that changed everything. But who can she truly believe in now?

Powerful, gripping and impossible to forget, The Followers is a novel about love, hope and identity that asks timely questions. Are we still responsible for our actions if we remake ourselves in someone else’s image? And is there any way back…?


‘The serious questions that The Followers poses about love, faith and responsibility blend with Wait’s propulsive plotting and the complicity she creates through the power of her writing to form a great surging shout of a novel, which left me, in the end, in tears. Without wanting to proselytise, I’d urge you to buy it.’ (Guardian)

‘Confident… beguiling… maintains tension until the last paragraph… The tenderness and the transformative nature of the ending – one which acknowledges the danger of wanting to belong – are truly moving.’ (The Independent)

‘The novel has a brooding tension… building to a page-turning finish.’ (Daily Mail)

‘gripping…builds to a violent, shocking… climax.’ (Daily Express)

‘If you’re looking for a summer read with brains, this is the perfect book.’ (Press Association)

‘Very clever and thought-provoking… I raced through it. You won’t be able to put it down.’ We Love This Book: May Favourites

‘Rebecca Wait describes the world of The Followers with such vividness that I dreamt about her cold, misty moorland, and with such tenderness that the ending brought tears to my eyes.’ (Alison Moore, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of ‘The Lighthouse’)

‘A gripping, assured and intelligent novel.’ (Jim Crace, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest)

‘Rebecca Wait’s new novel explores the deep nature of human nature, introduces us to fascinating characters, and takes us on an unforgettable personal journey. Make time to be fully absorbed.’ (Dr Philip Zimbardo, author of ‘The Lucifer Effect’)

‘I really enjoyed this quietly terrifying and suspenseful exploration of obedience to authority and the dangers of fundamentalism.’ (Carys Bray, author of ‘A Song for Issy Bradley’)

‘Such a suspenseful and compassionate book, never more so than in its feeling for certain characters, the disorderliness of their inner lives, their vulnerability. I thought it remarkable.’ (Sunjeev Sahota, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of ‘Ours Are The Streets’)

‘The Followers is a powerful book. Told with great subtlety and insight, it takes us to the far reaches of human experience to reveal the seams that bind together faith, logic, understanding and our sense of self – and shows how easily a psyche can be ripped apart. Rebecca Wait’s writing has beauty, steel, economy and winning flashes of humour, and her plot is gripping. I was a convert from the very first page.’ (Ann Morgan, author of “Reading the World”)

‘A gripping tale of a violent sect in a flooded land, awaiting the end of the world, The Followers is also a beautifully moving story of the limits of faith and the power of family, those we make and those we choose. It will stay with me for a long time.’ (Peggy Riley, author of ‘Amity and Sorrow”)

The Followers is a highly affecting and beautiful novel, both tender and brutal. It’s a poignant examination of power, faith and family, and a story that stays with you long after you turn the last page (Nicci Cloke, author of ‘Lay Me Down’)

‘The Followers is touching, sensitive and surprisingly humorous… a timely reminder of what can happen to us “ordinary” people if we give up on our abilities to think and act for ourselves.’ (Louise Walters, author of ‘Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase’)

‘A fascinating book about love and faith.’ (Prima)

Top Reads for 2015, Hunger TV

Blog reviews

‘Gripping until its last page… poignant and compelling’ – The Unlikely Bookworm

‘Rebecca Wait has done it again, and I’ll even go as far as saying that The Followers is even better than her first book, and for me, that’s huge huge praise!…It is gripping, clever, and so brilliantly told. Another triumph for this incredibly talented young author.’ – Random Things Through My Letterbox



4 Responses to The Followers

  1. Bill Kupersmith says:

    I sure want to read this one.

  2. Clodagh Hayes says:

    Dear Rebecca Wait
    I just read your book The Followers and had tears in my eyes at that lovely last scene with Judith and Moses. I loved the book – gripping, tense, great characterisation. Judith and Gran were my favourites. And Moses of course. I will now be seeking out your first novel and looking forward to the third.
    Many thanks
    Clodagh Hayes

    • Rebecca Wait says:

      Dear Clodagh,
      That’s such a heartening comment to read. Thank you! I have to admit, I like Gran a lot too. She was partially based on my own grandmother, who died recently.
      Best wishes,

  3. Meera Somji says:

    Dear Rebecca,
    I just finished The Followers this morning and like other readers, I was in tears at the last scene. I was absolutely absorbed the entire time – by Moses’ innocence, Judith’s strength, Nathaniel’s masterful manipulation… every single character got to me. Thank you.

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