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Wish You Were Hereby Graham Swift
Synopses & Reviews
From the prizewinning author of the acclaimed Last Orders, The Light of Day, and Waterland, a powerfully moving new novel set in present-day England, but against the background of a global "war on terror" and about things that touch our human core.
On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton--once a farmer, now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park--receives the news that his brother Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in combat in Iraq. The news will have its far-reaching effects for Jack and his wife, Ellie, and compel Jack to make a crucial journey: to receive his brother's remains, but also to return to the land of his past and of his most secret, troubling memories. A gripping, hauntingly intimate, and compassionate story that moves toward a fiercely suspenseful climax, Wish You Were Here translates the stuff of headlines into heartwrenching personal truth.
"Swift's stunning new novel (after Light of Day) begins with deceptive slowness, detailing the lives of Jack and Ellie, the English husband-and-wife proprietors of a trailer park on the Isle of Wight. Jack and his brother Tom grew up on a dairy farm, but after mad cow disease decimates the livestock, their father commits suicide and the brothers grow apart — Tom enlists and goes off to fight in Iraq, while Jack and Ellie built a happy, if quiet, existence. But when a letter from the Ministry of Defence arrives — addressed to the old farm and rerouted 'by someone with a long memory' to the Isle of Wight — Jack learns that the burden of repatriating his brother's remains has fallen on his shoulders, a responsibility that will cause Jack to confront the complexities of 'life and all its knowledge,' and the sheltering peace of death. Swift (Last Orders) creates an elegant rawness with language that carries the reader through several layers of Jack's consciousness at once — his lonely past, his uncertain future, and the ways in which his father and his brother both refuse to leave him alone, despite how long they've been gone. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton—once a Devon farmer, now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park—receives the news that his brother, Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in combat in Iraq. For Jack and his wife, Ellie, this will have unexpected, far-reaching effects. For Jack in particular it means a crucial journey: to receive his brother’s remains and to confront his most secret, troubling memories.
A hauntingly intimate, deeply compassionate story about things that touch and test our human core, Wish You Were Here also looks, inevitably, to a wider, afflicted world. Moving toward a fiercely suspenseful climax, it brilliantly transforms the stuff of headlines into heart-wrenching personal truth.
About the Author
GRAHAM SWIFT is the author of eight previous novels, including Last Orders, which was awarded the Booker Prize. He is also the author of a collection of short stories and a work of nonfiction. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
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