One of our Books of the Year 2015.
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015.
A slight departure for this highly regarded author being an historical tale of Edwardian London and Canada based on a true story from his family history. Harry Case, a gentleman in suburban London, marries and has a daughter. Unexpectedly he discovers he is gay and has a passionate carnal affair with an actor. Huge family uproar and Harry is persuaded to cut himself off and emigrate to Canada. Here we follow him through hard grind and tough living as he joins a scheme to claim land on the prairie. He gets befriended and then dominated by a sinister Dane. Eventually Harry finds the partner of his dreams but along comes the war, the flu epidemic and more tragedy. Harry falls into a kind of madness. Finally, though, there is a happy ending of sorts. The frank treatment of gay love and sex is hardly shocking today but think back and relive a tough and sad life beautifully entered here. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Costa Judges' comment: “A sensitive, beautifully structured story of loss, fear, exile and hope.”
To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything. A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step.
Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.
|Publication date:||27th August 2015|
|Publisher:||Tinder Press an imprint of Headline Publishing Group|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 07/10/2021
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
'Patrick Gale has written a book which manages to be both tender and epic, and carries the unmistakeable tang of a true story. I loved it.' Jojo Moyes
'Absorbing, moving and beautifully written, with echoes of EM Forster which I found especially enjoyable.' -- Amanda Craig
'Beautifully structured around the warmest of warm hearts, but it's also run through with something new: a devastating chill of loss, fear and exile which keeps you shaking your head and biting your lip in concern and shame and disbelief.' -- Louisa Young
Patrick Gale was our Guest Editor in June 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing. Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through and the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition.Author photo © Daniel Hall PhotographyMore About Patrick Gale