Margot Livesey

official website


  • February 2024
  • Knopf
  • Hardcover, Audio, Digital

The Road from Belhaven

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland.

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn't, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her "pictures" foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but she can seldom change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her not revealed that the touch of a hand can change everything? After following Louis to Glasgow, though, she learns the limits of his devotion. Faced with a seemingly impossible choice, she makes a terrible mistake. But her second sight may allow her a second chance.

Praise for The Road from Belhaven

"Powerful.... Livesey's lyrical perfection comes at no expense to the plot, which barrels like a runaway train. This is a gem." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"The historical setting and paranormal touch comprise a departure for Livesey, and a satisfying one. Livesey's vibrant imagery and profound compassion deliver a tragic coming-of-age novel that resonates with her gifted protagonist's resourcefulness in the face of stunning faithlessness." Booklist (Starred Review)

"This novel casts a spell. The writing here reminds me of Claire Keegan's Foster and Alice Munro at her unsentimental best. Rich with tangible detail, The Road from Belhaven is magical as well, not least in the way it stops time for the reader. I inhaled it in one day." Allegra Goodman, New York Times best-selling author of Sam

"Margot Livesey is a treasure: a writer who understands the magic and mysteries of the human soul, and brings that wisdom to novels that are both riveting and lush. The Road from Belhaven is a smart, profound, and beautiful book that draws you in and holds you tight." Chris Bohjalian, New York Times best-selling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch

"The Road from Belhaven is a marvel. In this radiantly beautiful novel, Margot Livesey introduces us to Lizzie Craig, an unforgettable 19th-century Scottish clairvoyant haunted by her future as much as her past. Livesey has crafted a story as thrilling as it is thoughtful, one animated by life's fundamental question: how do we change?" Anthony Marra, New York Times best-selling author of Mercury Pictures Presents

"Margot Livesey is a great, gifted storyteller, with a moral compass of pure gold and the necessary clear eyes to understand and love us all, with our mistakes and misunderstandings and damages. She holds the world of Belhaven Farm up to her bright, sharp vision and the light and the shadows dance for generations." Amy Bloom, New York Times best-selling author of In Love

"Margot Livesey's prose is so lucid, so precise, and so understated as she goes about conjuring and sustaining the lives of her characters, that the reader hardly notices how deep a claim Lizzie Craig has laid on the heart until it is in danger of breaking on her behalf. The only thing I could think to do when I finished the book was to begin again, I didn't want it to end." Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers