Author(s): Sebastian Faulks
"On a small island off the south coast of France, Robert Hendricks, an English doctor who has seen the best and the worst the twentieth century had to offer, is forced to confront the events that made up his life. His host, and antagonist, is Alexander Pereira, a man whose time is running out, but who seems to know more about his guest than Hendricks himself does. The search for sanity takes us through the war in Italy in 1944, a passionate love that seems to hold out hope, the great days of idealistic work in the 1960s and finally unforgettably back into the trenches of the Western Front. The recurring themes of Sebastian Faulks's fiction are here brought together with a new stylistic brilliance as the novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand. Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulks's most remarkable book yet."
This novel focuses on the life of a retired doctor, Robert, who was affected as a child during the First World War, when his father was killed, and by the Second World War, in which he took part. He never really recovered from the trauma of war despite having lead a meaningful life as a doctor. Robert finds himself at an intersection in life: an affair has come finished and he finds himself at a loose end. It’s at this point in his life that he receives an invitation from an elderly gentleman who claims to have known his father prior to his death. Through his interactions with this French doctor, Robert is forced to consider the life he has lead and the source of the loneliness that has dominated his life. In reading this story one considers love and how the experience of having been loved influences the ability to love. Linked with this is the impact of trauma on life. This is a perceptive, interesting and well-written novel. - Sarah
The new bestseller from the author of BIRDSONG and A WEEK IN DECEMBER.
Sebastian Faulks's books include the number one bestseller A Week in December, A Possible Life, Human Traces, On Green Dolphin Street, Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, which has sold more than three million copies. In 2011 he wrote and presented the four-part television series Faulks on Fiction for BBC Two.