From the author of The Facts of Life comes a cunning mix of tragedy and comedy, featuring one man’s journey to self-discovery.
Lawrence Frost has a special relationship with all things green – his patience with plants and trees knows no bounds. His ability to get on with his wife, Bonnie, is another matter however. Having always taken her and his daughter Lucy for granted, under duress and out of jealousy he lashes out and suddenly loses both of them. The subsequent shock of his violent and conflicting emotions sends him off on a journey of penance that will take him across the Atlantic to America. Along the way he falls in love with an enigmatic chanteuse whose dramatic demise throws his life into further chaos. Finally, he finds sanctuary, alone, working in a Californian retreat and health spa, where he tends to the estate’s flora. Here, he is eventually able to lay the ghosts from his past to rest before finding the peace and happiness which are necessary to mend his fractured family tree.
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‘Gale is an elegant and witty writer, with an engagingly bizarre imagination.’
‘Gale’s blend of artifice and realism is not quite like anybody else’s.’
‘Gale’s wonderful novels are rife with coincidence, charm and unrelenting humanity. I wait for them the way some people wait for springtime.’
FAMILIES, LIKE PLANTS, GROW MOST STRONGLY WHERE YOU CUT THEM
As befits the hero of a modern fairy tale, Lawrence Frost has neither father nor siblings, and fits so awkwardly into his worldly mother’s life, he might have dropped from the sky. A true misfit, he grows up happier communing with nature than with people. Whilst he is straightforward, honest and a doting dad, he can be a difficult taciturn husband – but he’s the last person one would suspect of being a killer… Then he wakes in the woods one morning to find himself branded a wife-beater and under investigation for murder. Suddenly, his small world falls apart as he loses wife, daughter, liberty, livelihood and, almost, his mind.
In late Shakespeare he would be banished or shipwrecked. This being mid period Gale, he is sent on the holiday from hell. Bereft and confused, he undergoes a journey of penance and self discovery across the Atlantic to the Caribbean where a passionate liaison with a living legend throws his life into further chaos. Meanwhile the exasperated women in his life – mother, wife and enigmatic mistress – are forced to accept that their lives must feel the gardener’s blade if they are to bloom afresh. Seeking sanctuary at an alternative therapy centre among the giant redwoods of northern California, Lawrence finally stumbles on a possibility of happiness, but not before chance encounters and long hidden secrets have conspired to unearth the deeply buried roots of his misfortune.
With a bold mix of tragicomedy, harsh truth and sublime fantasy, Patrick Gale has created a 'Winter’s Tale' for the millennium – a vivid and compelling portrait of a man at odds with himself and an extended family of friends and lovers trying to take its proper shape.
“Gale is an elegant and witty writer with an engagingly bizarre imagination.”
“Gale’s blend of artifice and realism is not quite like anybody else’s.”
“Gale is a master of character, and he slips under the skins of his women protagonists with such wit that it’s often hard to believe he’s a man.”
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Book Description Flamingo. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # zk0002256126