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
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57