A family is disconnecting from its extraordinary stories. There are just photographs, glimpses; flights of imagination. Two cousins are drawn back to where it began.
To Michael and his siblings their cousin Stuart is strange. After all, there is his missing ear. ‘They could have had something done about it,’ Michael’s brother suggests, ‘But you know the type, they don’t do anything. Just accept their fate.’ With that, Stuart’s side of the family is written off.
But Michael has sympathy for Stuart. Younger than his brother and sister he feels similarly an outsider. His family has moved around, moved on. The youngest, he feels deeply disconnected from a precariously shifting past. Everyone has become a stranger.
Over the years Michael experiences more and more the pull of the village in the Lakes, the village on the edge of the world, from where his father originated and where his mother so brashly arrived. There are glimpses of stories, of melodrama. And Michael has remained inquisitive about his cousin Stuart.
For Stuart, too, there is the pull of the village. Stuart collects things. And he has acquired an old book on the Lakes.
This novel is about the search for consciousness, for connections, for what is eternally present:
“Footfalls echo in the memory…”
The writing captures with lyric intensity what is being felt and being searched for.