For fifteen-year-old Jennifer Hamilton, the transition from adolescence to adulthood is painful and bewildering. Too mature to return to the securities of childhood, yet unwilling to join a world of adults, Jennifer creates a psychic world in which her companions are Shelley and the restoration playwright Aphra Behn. Adding to Jennifer’s self-doubts is her exuberant and capricious mother. When Sarah brings home the young attractive architect Paul, Jennifer becomes aware of new and unusual feelings, and before long mother and daughter are competing for Paul’s attention.

Second Sight won a Yorkshire Post first novel prize (1980) and was published in the US as The Second Sight of Jennifer Hamilton (1981).


'A vital blend of detachment and passion ... Sally Emerson excels in razor-sharp observations.' Anne Barnes, The Times

'Second Sight is a very clever novel about youth and its careful obsessions, and middle age and its careless sexuality ... It has more than a little of Irish Murdoch's style, wit and sense of the bizarre.' Cosmopolitan

'Calm authority and delicate wit.' Times Literary Supplement

'Strong and individual.' Financial Times