In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames’s life, he begins a letter to his young son, a kind of last testament to his remarkable forebears. Ames is troubled too by his prodigal namesake, Jack Boughton, his best friend’s ne’er-do-well son, who seems to be a living contradiction of everything that Ames stands for.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
In 1956, towards the end of Reverend John Ames’s life, he begins a letter to his young son: ‘I told you last night that I might be gone sometime . . . You reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother’s. It’s a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I’m always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I’ve suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.’
‘A visionary work of dazzling originality’ ROBERT MCCRUM, OBSERVER
‘Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger’ JANE SHILLING, DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘A beautiful novel: wise, tender and perfectly measured’ SARAH WATERS
‘A masterpiece’ SUNDAY TIMES