Frustrated and appalled by his life and the way he lives it, Nathan Staples is sustained only by his passionate devotion for his estranged wife and teenage daughter. Nathan's path to becoming complete and alive again will be strewn with obstacles.
Nathan Staples is consumed by loathing and love in roughly equal measures. He is sustained only by his passionate devotion to his estranged wife, Maura, and their teenage daughter, Mary - whom he hasn't seen in fifteen years, and who thinks he's dead. When Nathan contrives to have Mary invited to the island where he lives in retreat, he sets in motion the possibility of telling her he is her father, and becoming complete again. The path to grace, however, is strewn with obstacles. The obsessive Island dwellers are trying to cure themselves through trial by extremity, while in London, Nathan's editor, only friend and one link with his literary career, is drinking himself into the ground. And Mary herself is torn between familial love for the two uncles who brought her up in loco parentis, and the beginnings of a romantic, sexual life beyond.
A.L. Kennedy is a Scottish writer who has received numerous prizes for her work, including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. Her previous novels are "So I Am Glad" and "Looking for the Possible Dance." Her short story collections are "Original Bliss," "Now That You're Back" and "Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains."
Completely wonderful. Grimly funny, wonderfully wise and ravishingly written Glasgow Herald Kennedy has an exceptional gift for empathy and insight Scotland on Sunday Magnificent. A wonderful and highly distinctive book Sunday Tribune Full of the wittiest and most profound writing by one of the most accomplished authors in the UK. -- Debbie Taylor Culture (Newcastle Journal)