From the winner of the Costa First Novel Award, the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize comes a novel of the everyday, the miraculous and the everlasting.
November 1944. A German rocket incinerates a South London household-goods store, and five young lives are atomised in an instant. Jo and Valerie and Alec and Ben and Vernon are gone. But what if it were possible to resurrect them – to let them experience the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the twentieth century; to live out all the personal triumphs and disasters, the second chances and redemptions denied them?
Ingenious and profound, both sweeping and intimate, full of warmth and beauty. It has you turning the final page with a renewed and enriched appreciation for the gift of life.
About the speakers:
Francis Spufford is the author of five highly-praised works of non-fiction, most frequently described by reviewers as either ‘bizarre’ or ‘brilliant’, and usually as both. His debut novel Golden Hill won the Costa First Novel Award, the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and the British Book Awards Debut Novel of the Year. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and lives near Cambridge.
Rebecca Watson is a novelist and Assistant Arts Editor at the Financial Times. Her work has been published in the Times Literary Supplement and Granta. In 2018, she was shortlisted for the White Review Short Story Prize and in January 2021 her debut book little scratch was released to critical acclaim.