Judith has been visiting her mother, Stephanie, in prison once a month for the last eight years. Nearly a hundred stilted half hours – hundreds of failed conversations, hundreds of topics avoided. Neither of them can bring themselves to talk about what brought them here – or about Nathaniel . . .

When Stephanie first meets him, she is a struggling single mother and Nathaniel is a charismatic outsider, unlike anyone she’s ever known. In deciding to join the small religious cult he has founded high on the moors, Stephanie thinks she is doing the best for her daughter: a new home, a new life, a new purpose.

Judith has never trusted Nathaniel, but even she can’t foresee the terrible things that lie ahead. From the moment they arrive, the delicate dynamic of Nathaniel’s followers is disturbed. Judith’s restlessness and questions unsettle the children who’ve never known life outside the cult – all except loyal Moses, who will do anything to be her friend. Meanwhile, as Stephanie slowly surrenders herself to Nathaniel’s will, tensions deepen, faith and doubt collide, and a horrifying act of violence changes everything. In the shattering aftermath, no one seems safe, and for Judith and Moses the biggest leap of faith is still to come . . .

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 . . . ?

‘This book is a restrained tour-de-force, a profoundly unsettling, brilliantly executed, and deeply humane depiction of a slow slide toward an unspeakable act, and the difficulty and necessity of finding a way to live in the aftermath. This is a remarkable novel.’
Emily St John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

‘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, author of Ours Are The Streets

‘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 shortlisted author of The Lighthouse

‘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 & Sorrow

‘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 Beside Myself

‘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, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University and author of The Lucifer Effect

‘A sense of foreboding hovers over Rebecca Wait’s brilliant new novel, building to a terrifying conclusion.  It’s a book to tear through, to horrify you, and to share with everyone you know.’
Emma Chapman, author of How To Be A Good Wife

‘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

‘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.’
Jenn Ashworth, The Independent

‘A powerful book . . . a novel unafraid to tackle difficult topics which examines charisma and hurt and how they can warp relationships. It is about power, faith and loved used for good and bad ends, despair and the possibilities of redemption . . . a haunting and beautifully wrought novel with characters and a story that will stay with you long after you have closed the book itself.’
We Love This Book

‘The novel has a brooding tension that threatens no good to come, building to a page-turning finish.’
John Harding, Daily Mail

‘Gripping . . . devastating . . . hopeful . . . shocking.’
Daily Express