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I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

"Out of this world" by Graham Swift

Graham Swift won the Booker Prize for Last Orders and was shortlisted for Waterland, both amazing books.

Harry, son of a first world war VC turned arms manufacturer, is a photographer who specialises in recording the horror of war. He is estranged from his daughter Sophie who lives in New York with her travel agent husband and their two twins. The story is almost entirely narrated alternately by Harry and by Sophie, whose narrations are mostly talking to her therapist.

As the novel progresses we learn about the traumas of their lives, the wife lost in childbirth, the wife lost in a plane crash, the father blown up by a car bomb. Theirs is a slow journey towards reconciliation.

"Everything in the garden was lovely. Hasn't it got to be that way? So we can believe we came from Paradise? Then it gets fucked later." (p 51)
"You belong nowhere. Or rather: This is the only place you belong - this transit region, this in-between space." (p 121)

Beautifully written. June 2017; 208 pages

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