join us on facebook desmond elliott 2017 win prizes
Search our site
The Course of History Ten Meals That Changed the World by Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh Read the opening extract of the brand new Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh book before its publication on 24/10/2017

Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

Mr Mac and Me

Historical Fiction   World War One Literature   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £16.99

Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

An intriguing historical novel set between 1914 and 1915 in a Suffolk fishing village. Told by Tom, a 13/14-year old boy with two central themes, one about his impressions of the early war years and the effect on his family and the community, and the other about his relationship with the Mackintoshes, the famous (but not then) Glaswegian architect and his beautiful artist wife. Tom is enthralled by them and they encourage him to paint. And then the very end of the book covers the rest of Tom’s life until he is 95. It is an impressive, beautifully written work which completely draws you into the life on the home front during the First World War. Magnificent.

If you like Esther Freud you might also like to read books by Graham Swift, Kazuo Ishiguro and Penelope Fitzgerald.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. A novel of great delicacy, this tells the poignant story of the year spent by the great Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the Suffolk village of Walberswick from the summer of 1914. Befriended by young Thomas Maggs, the son of a publican, Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald are viewed with some suspicion by the villagers, and, as the war continues, their correspondence with German and Austrian patrons results in the eventual arrest for spying of the quiet, self-absorbed, blameless ‘Mr Mac’ Thomas’s home life is an uneasy one, and as he tries to take his future into his own hands, he becomes ever more closely linked to Mackintosh, a man whose fortunes are on the decline and who is struggling to make ends meet. Subtle, restrained, and beautifully written, this is a fine novel of art and nature, and of life’s ebbs and flows.
~ Karen Howlett


Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

It is 1914, and Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet - shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming, the summer visitors, and the girls who come down from the Highlands every year to gut and pack the herring. Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. To Thomas he looks for all the world like a detective, in his black cape and hat of felted wool, and the way he puffs on his pipe as if he's Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the inn. And whisper they do, for he sets off on his walks at unlikely hours, and stops to examine the humblest flowers. He is seen on the beach, staring out across the waves as if he's searching for clues. But Mac isn't a detective, he's the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and together with his red-haired artist wife, they soon become a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas. Yet just as Thomas and Mac's friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared. The summer guests flee and are replaced by regiments of soldiers on their way to Belgium, and as the brutality of war weighs increasingly heavily on this coastal community, they become more suspicious of Mac and his curious behaviour.


'A compelling tale beautifully told, Mr Mac & Me is as close to a perfect novel as anything I've read in a long time. I loved every page of it.'

- Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto.

'I was utterly absorbed in the language and the story and the world of it ... You know how it is when a writer draws into a place and you begin to feel it is more substantial than the one around you? That is how this book was for me. I truly loved it .'

- Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

'Attending to Esther Freud's still, truthful voice becomes not only a pleasure but a necessity.'

-Jonathan Coe

'Freud has a precious and remarkable gift.'

- The Times

'A superbly gifted writer.'

- New York Times, Book Review

'The best that art can be: full of exploration, full of intuition, full of generosity - and full of love.'

- Julie Myerson

About the Author

Esther Freud

Esther Freud was born in London in 1963. She trained as an actress before writing her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and made into a feature film starring Kate Winslet. Her other novels include The Sea House, Summer at Gaglow, The Wild, Peerless Flats and most recently, Love Falls. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014


Esther Freud

More books by Esther Freud
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


304 pages


Historical Fiction
World War One Literature
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



The selections are so varied and the reader reviews are so helpful. A fantastic website for those who love books.

Ann Quintilla

I 'Lovereading' because it lets me see what new books are around with a detailed synopsis and readers' reviews.

Judith Sharp

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.

Claire Hill

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane