I felt touched and inspired by this book, which makes the point of our common responsibility for humanity's future in a very subtle way, like a gentle stroke of breeze on your cheek.
Grandmother Rosemary, whose behaviour is affected by an illness, hectors her family about the excesses of our unsustainable civilisation, effectively shutting out any meaningful discussion. She presents her arguments intellectually, with a great dose of bitterness about our failures. Despite the clarity of her analysis and proposed solutions, ultimately, however, hers is not the voice we hear or are likely to learn from.
The author juxtaposes Rosemary's angry rants against her 13-year old grandson's subtle observations of life in the countryside and love in a family, which allow us to make up our own minds on the same issues. Through Rosemary the author tells us where we went wrong, but we are unable to take this in because of the way in which the points are made. Through the 13-year old Theo's love for his grandmother and empathy for all that surrounds him, however, we see the same lessons clearly, and are allowed to draw the conclusions by ourselves.
The book is very deep and multi-dimensional, the above being only one of its many aspects.
Although this may not have been the author's original intention, Disputed Land is for me one of the strongest and clearest contemporary statements about ecology and the need for transition from exploitative, extraction-based and untrammeled growth-obsessed civilisation, to an ethically-oriented, sustainable and resilient human development. A work of true art. Thank you Tim Pears.