Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 2002.
The sudden trace of a disturbing, forgotten aroma compels Stephen Wheatley to return to the site of a dimly remembered but troubling childhood summer in wartime London. As he pieces together his scattered images, we are brought back to a quiet, suburan street where two boys, Keith and his sidekick-Stephen-are engaged in their own version of the war effort: spying on the neighbors, recording their movements, ferreting out their secrets.
But when Keith utters six shocking words, the boys’ game of espionage takes a sinister and unintended turn. A wife’s simple errands and a family’s ordinary rituals-once the focus of childish speculation-become the tragic elements of adult catastrophe.
In gripping prose, charged with emotional intensity, Spies reaches into the moral confusion of youth to reveal…[more]
The death of homeless man Charlie Buck is unremarkable to everyone except the few passers-by who witness his drunken—and apparently voluntary—fall beneath a speeding lorry. No loved ones or friends attend his last breaths in hospital—his possessions amount to a National Insurance card, a digital watch and a newspaper obituary for a dead composer. But Charlie was a person. He had a wife and a son, his own set of dreams and personal demons, a biography no more and no less studded with dramas, defeats and victories than anyone else’s.
This is the mission of…
William Trevor is beloved around the world as one of the finest writers today—and with just cause: his new novel is a masterpiece of love and loss, and lives suspended in time.
Lucy Gault is nine when her parents are faced with the agonizing decision to flee Ireland to be safe from the violence that privilege and Lucy’s English mother have brought upon them—or to stay in their home and risk losing it to the threat of arson.
Lucy cannot bear the thought of leaving Lahardane’s beautiful pastureland, the seashore below pale clay cliffs, and the nameless dog that has become her companion. So she runs away into the nearby woods to convince her parents to stay. Instead, her actions begin the unravelling of her family when they find two bits of her clothing and conclude she has thrown herself into the…[more]