For Fans Of
What if the villain of your childhood turned out to be someone really rather extraordinary?
'A perfectly written book in which the author never puts a foot wrong.' Author, John Lynch
Edwardian Brighton. A wide-eyed girl enters Mr Parker's photographic studio and receives her first lesson about the brand new medium that will shape her future: “Can you think of a really good memory? Perhaps you can see it when you close your eyes. Now think how much better it would be if you could take it out and look at whenever you wanted to!”
2009: Disgraced politician Sir James Hastings is resigned to living out his retirement in a secluded village in the Surrey Hills. He is unmoved when he learns his mother has died at the age of 108. In his mind, he buried her when she abandoned him as a child. Brought up by his father, a charismatic war-hero turned racing-driver, the young James, torn between self-blame and longing, eventually dismissed her as the ‘villain’ of his childhood. Now he inherits her life’s work – an incredible photography collection spanning six decades – and is forced to confront the realisation that his version of the past isn’t even half the story.
Journey across a century of change as one man explores the world through this mother’s eyes and reassembles his own family history.
Perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier, Audrey Niffenegger and Ali Smith.
Award-winning author Jane Davis presents a family that is beautifully flawed, brimming with affection, and inimitably human. This expertly crafted novel captures perfectly how misunderstood decisions of the past can haunt and illuminate us in the present.
A clever and compelling read with a haunting quality. (C Bannister)
Jane Davis is truly a writer's writer. She has taken an entire century - a feat worthy of Ken Follett or Gabriel Garcia Marquez - and covered it with the richness of her characterisation, presenting a family that is beautifully flawed, brimming with affection, and inimitably human. (Book Blogger J R Metcalf.)
A totally enthralling & emotive story that left me wishing my train journey to & from work were longer. (Joe Thorp)
The characters shine through and live with you long after you've finished the story. (Ros Black, historian)