Top positive review
61 people found this helpful
Subtle and beautiful - an excellent read
on 26 September 2010
Set in a Sussex village over 10 days in 2000, this story has got far more to it than the blurb suggests. Although initially hard to get into and seemingly a bit disconnected, this cleverly plotted story with a wide range of characters becomes compelling as Nicholson skilfully weaves the various strands together. It's written in an episodic way, with each chapter dealing with a different strand of the story, then moving on to another strand, only to return to the first strand at a later point. In addition to Laura,(revisited by an old flame) and Henry who works in television, we also get to know a vicar who has lost his faith, a journalist still in the thrall of her ex-husband, an aspiring play-wright teacher, and others too, both old and young. An everyday story of country dwellers could so easily deteriorate into soap opera and it is entirely to Nicholson's credit that his novel rises gloriously above this and really conveys the yearning, the striving, the uncertainty, the disatisfaction and also the optimism with which we struggle through life. Nicholson gives the reader an insight into his characters motivation which the other characters can't see, and in doing so, shows us how little we really know about one another.
I thoroughly enjoyed this thought-provoking story and will certainly look out for more by Nicholson in the future. If you enjoy intelligent contemporary fiction, you really should give this a try.