The author of The Untouchable (â€ścontemporary fiction gets no better than thisâ€ťâ€”Patrick McGrath, The New York Times Book Review) now gives us a luminous novel about love, loss, and the unpredictable power of memory.The narrator is Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who, soon after his wifeâ€™s death, has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a childâ€”a retreat from the grief, anger, and numbness of his life without her. But it is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled vacationing family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time. The seductive mother; the imperious father; the twinsâ€”Chloe, fiery and forthright, and Myles, silent and expressionlessâ€”in whose mysterious connection Max became profoundly entangled, each of them a part of the â€śbarely bearable raw immediacyâ€ť of his childhood memories. Interwoven with this story are Mordenâ€™s memories of his wife, Annaâ€”of their life together, of her deathâ€”and the moments, both significant and mundane, that make up his life now: his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him â€ślike a second heart.â€ťWhat Max comes to understand about the past, and about its indelible effects on him, is at the center of this elegiac, vividly dramatic, beautifully written novelâ€”among the finest we have had from this extraordinary writer.
Literature & Fiction, General, General AAS,