'These broken pieces were all he had; like keepsakes pulled from the ruins, like photo albums tied to mattresses on the carts of refugees. Fragile traces, dug from the cold wet earth. Fragile traces which would one day crumble into dust.' Coventry Mu 'These broken pieces were all he had; like keepsakes pulled from the ruins, like photo albums tied to mattresses on the carts of refugees. Fragile traces, dug from the cold wet earth. Fragile traces which would one day crumble into dust.' Coventry Museum curator David Carter - a man driven constantly to seek the thrill of old stories made new - cannot help but wish for more: that his wife would still be the ambitious and sparkling Scottish girl he once found so irresistible, that his job could live up to the promise it once held, that his daughter's arrival will bring her parents closer together. But Auntie Julia's careless words years earlier have left David restless with the knowledge that his whole life has been constructed around an untruth. And so he attempts to begin anew, cataloguing the joys and disappointments, the migrations and arrivals, the intersecting lives around him. Because once, long ago, a young Irish girl called Mary Friel arrived in war-time London an innocent and left carrying a shame; a shame she still hopes can be diminished by a knock at the door of her Donegal home. There are so many ways to begin, and to live; so many ways to love, and to not love, and to end. Against the backdrop of post-WW2 Britain, Jon McGregor's lyrical, intimate novel explores what happens when our lives fail to take the turns we expect, and the ways we learn to let go of the people we might have been. ...Continua Nascondi
Opening: They came in the morning, early, walking with the others along tracks and lanes and roads, across fields, down the long low hills which led to the slow pull of the river, down to the open gateways in the city walls, the hours and days of walking showing in the slow shift of their bodies, their breath streaming above them in the cold morning air as the night fell away at their backs.
It is plain that I need to read a third by this author as it seems preposterous that the same author can deliver a 4* of utter brilliance and a 1* of shudder...
McGregor brings some startling human misery to nigh on every character in this book: recreational domestic violence, Alzheimers, abandoned child, bomb sites and madness, all deftly managed and couched in emphatic and competent language. But where has the magical prose that enthralled us in Remarkable Things?
'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' - Leo Tolstoy
4* If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things 1* Even The Dogs 3* So Many Ways To Begin...Continua Nascondi