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robtwinem

runner

I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

Currently reading

Logan McRae (10) - In the Cold Dark Ground
Stuart MacBride
Progress: 520/529 pages
The Dare
John Boyne
Progress: 100/103 pages
Grace Notes
Bernard MacLaverty
Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Beautiful and lyrical

Travelling in a Strange Land - David Park

Sometimes you read a book and the affect it has on you is one of sheer astonishment...astonishment that the written word can be so powerful, so all consuming. David Park is one of the few authors who has the ability to retain my 100 percent attention and to transport me to a time and location that is profoundly sad but yet so lyrical. Tom is on a journey from Belfast to Sunderland to collect his unwell son Luke, and return him home to the family nest for Christmas. The weather is bad, airports are closed, and the journey involves Tom treacherously navigating a frozen landscape. In this desolate setting there is much time to reflect on family life, decisions taken, regrets examined and a haunted memory..."Something brushes a branch further up the slope and snow falls almost in slow motion. I know its Daniel even though I can't see him"....... It soon becomes clear that tragedy has befallen a family member and in the passing of those lonely snowbound hours the full extent and heart break of Daniel's story is laid bare.

 

What follows is a brilliant wretched story, that demands the reader's attention and sympathy, a sadness and situation that a family must accept and are powerless to change the inevitable ending. Let the words of David Park overwhelm you with their sparse and translucent prose...."The city looks like one of its sleeping homeless, huddled against the cold and layered in borrowed clothes"....."so I have to think things out on this journey but I don't know if the monochrome world I'm travelling through makes it easier or harder"....."life now ebbs and flows only as an inescapable welter of thought and image."....."Strange to be nursed by your child but I guess that reversal of roles is one that probably awaits us all down the road."....

 

A truly wonderful novel by an exceptional author, many thanks to the good people at netgalley and publisher Bloomsbury for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.