‘What is delightful about Gale’s fiction is that it so warmly and convincingly illuminates ordinary lives and interests. His staples are difficult loves, botched careers, tangled family histories – mainstream stuff, with the offbeat as an extra’ Daily Telegraph
‘Exerts the unmistakable force of a novelist in the process of discovering a new, strong voice. With this alarming and technically very skilful romance, he is decidedly a man to watch’ Mail on Sunday
'Flawless. Gale is a master of context and background, flinging wide the perspectives of his dramatic personae with exemplary patience and generosity. In A Sweet Obscurity's world of powerful, vatic females, where men are dreamers or ditherers, Cornwall, so far from being the land of failure, achieves a solidity and integrity whose graces are triumphantly redemptive.' TLS
‘This is arguably Gale’s most questioning, troublesome work. It amuses, startles and occasionally bewilders. A Sweet Obscurity is worth every minute of your time.’ Independent
‘Intriguing and impressive. His greatest strength lies in his sensitive evocation of those transient, often indefinable states that reveal the truth about people's deepest desires and discontents. A memorable study of a child forced cruelly, even tragically, to grow up too soon" Sunday Times
From the Back Cover
Dido, the nine-year-old heroine and emotional centre of Patrick Gale's latest painful comedy, knows that the adults that surround her, the adults who should know better, depend on her for happiness. So who is she to turn to when her short life turns upside down and tragic family history threatens to repeat itself?
Eliza, the clever, depressive young aunt who has brought Dido up as her own, and whose academic career has foundered due to the demands of unlooked for motherhood, tries and fails to give Dido the happy, normal childhood she never had herself. Her ex-husband Giles needs Dido back in his life, feeling it has lost all meaning, all substance without her. His girlfriend, Julia has been content to be the ideal stepmother but suddenly has needs of her own, and reasons for keeping the pair of them apart. Then there is Pearce, an unexpected new love interest in Eliza's messy life, desperate to give Eliza and Dido the security and protection they need. But will Eliza let him? Does she love him or is she using him to restart a stalled career?
Only Dido, unheard in the clamour of others' needs, has the power to make or break the happiness of these children in adult clothing.
''A Sweet Obscurity' is a moving and intensely felt examination of the steps to which we will go to seek protection and security in others. Returning to haunted Cornish landscapes familiar from Gale's other novels, it is the story of individuals in search of a family.'