“Innes strikes sparks by rubbing a clandestine world (here, prostitution in Scotland) against the everyday. Unsettling and seductive, this tale of two sisters is moving, gripping and unforgettable.” – The Independent, ‘Top Ten Debut Novels of 2015‘
‘…an impressive debut… asks difficult and brave questions. Crucially, the novel works because it shows how these questions matter to individual humans; because it’s so full of empathy… this is an important book.’ – The Guardian
‘Thoughtful, bruising, poignant and poetic.’ – Ian Rankin
Twenty year old Rona Leonard walks out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappears.
Six years on, worn down by a tedious job, child care and the aching absence in her life, Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that, before she disappeared, Rona had been a sex worker. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry. Drawn into an increasingly complex world, Fiona makes discoveries that challenge everything she believed, and will ultimately change her life forever.
Bittersweet, sensual and rich, Fishnet takes a clear-eyed, meticulously researched, controversial look at the sex industry and the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity.
‘This well-researched work of fiction challenged our assumptions that prostitutes are always victims of coercion and explored the ambiguities of the relationships they form with their Johns. It’s extremely rare for a novel actually to change public attitudes, but Fishnet already has.’ – Iain Macwhirter in The Herald, ‘Books of the Year‘
‘Bold, sensual and unflinching, Fishnet lays bare a world too often misjudged and misunderstood. Kirstin Innes writes with courage, warmth and real insight. This is a hugely enjoyable and important book.’ – Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals, winner of the Betty Trask Award.
‘Fishnet is a determined debut from an inimitable talent. Kirstin Innes takes the reader on a remarkable, authentic journey into the contemporary realm of prostitution.’ – Lisa O’Donnell, author of The Death of Bees, and winner of the Commonwealth Prize for fiction.
‘It’s dark and provocative, and it holds its gaze steady on the sex industry. Here’s a new writer with huge talents and promise.’ – Sarah Hall, in Metro
‘This book is utterly compelling… a brilliant achievement’ – Janice Forsyth, BBC Culture Studio
‘Fishnet is a great example of what the best fiction can do…it marries an honesty and clarity which is uncomfortable and often shocking, with a tenderness and warmth for the central characters and concern for their predicaments….Not just a good book, but an important one.’ Scots Whay Hae (warning – contains spoilers!)
‘Extraordinarily refreshing…a very erotic read…set to be a massive hit and deserves every ounce of that success.’ – Huffington Post
‘Fishnet, a passionate and politically-charged book about family ties set against the backdrop of the Scottish sex industry, is easily the best thing I have read so far this year.’ – Last Year’s Girl blog
‘A passionately committed book… Innes draws convincing, three dimensional characters and has constructed a plot that hums along and draws the reader in. And the writing is excellent, coupled with razor sharp observations on work, life, women and men.’ – Blue Book Balloon Blog
‘The prose is bold and direct, reflecting the unforgiving and honest nature of the book, but she also creates a warm, inviting atmosphere in which to lose yourself and your inhibitions. This debut novel is sure to capture the imagination and heart of anyone searching for a heartbreakingly truthful family drama.’ – We Love This Book
‘Quite a fabulous debut. Fishnet is exactly the kind of book I wish there were more of: female-driven, literary, taking on a character’s journey through a big-issue life change with straight empathy and respect… A wee gem.’ – Nicola Balkind, Bookish Blether Podcast
Fishnet is about sex work, sisterhood and everyday economics, and is the result of three years’ worth of research. I met some brilliant women while pulling this book together, sex workers, sex workers’ rights activists and advocates.
If you’d like to know more about the issues currently facing sex workers in Scotland, I recommend having a look at the SCOT-PEP website.
In a book group and would like to study Fishnet? Not only have my publishers put together a book group reading guide, they also offer book group discounts! More information here.