Our Fathers

Our Fathers : A gripping, tender novel about fathers and sons from the highly acclaimed author

4.2 (765 ratings by Goodreads)
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'A restrained tour-de-force, profoundly unsettling, brilliantly executed, and deeply humane' Emily St. John Mandel, on The Followers

'A wonderful novel' Spectator

'This is a beautifully realised novel, touching on the fallibility of memory and the unknowability of families, and gripping in its intensity. Outstanding' The Mail on Sunday

What kind of man kills his own family?

When Tom was eight years old, his father took a shotgun and shot his family: his wife, his son and baby daughter, before turning the gun on himself. Only Tom survived.

He left his tiny, shocked community on the island of Litta and the strained silence of his Uncle Malcolm's house while still a young boy. For twenty years he's tried to escape his past. Until now.

Without knowing how to ask, he needs answers - from his uncle, who should have known. From his neighbours, who think his father a decent man who 'just snapped'. From the memories that haunt the wild landscape of the Hebrides.

And from the silent ones who know more about what happened - and why - than they have ever dared admit.

By turns gripping, beautiful, devastating and tender, Our Fathers is a story about violence and redemption, control and love. With understated compassion and humour, Rebecca Wait gives a voice to the silenced and to the silences between men of few words.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 36mm | 460g
  • riverrun
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • NA
  • 1529400058
  • 9781529400052
  • 1,051,858

Review quote

'With an immaculate sense of place and great compassion, Rebecca Wait reaches behind the headlines to tell a story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. Stark yet lyrical, subtly mysterious and always humane, Our Fathers is a novel that details the trauma that is left behind in the long, bleak aftermath of violence' * Nina Allan, author of The Dollmaker * Rebecca Wait accomplishes something truly rare: a novel that exerts an extraordinary grip without appearing to apply much force. She is adept at peeling away enough of her characters' inner lives to help us to understand their hurt and their dilemmas, but without ever making them into emotional freak shows. * Irish Examiner * A wonderful novel * Spectator * Perceptive, generous exploration of ... trauma * Literary Review * Beautifully spare and profoundly upsetting... an absolutely captivating book * The Tablet * An astonishingly powerful story of toxic masculinity, regret and the possibility of redemption. * Guardian * A deeply involving study of a controlling father and the devastation he wreaks. Wait evokes the isolated community where the violence unfolds with startling realism and compassion. A wise and moving novel. * Polly Clark * This is a beautifully realised novel, touching on the fallibility of memory and the unknowability of families, and gripping in its intensity. Outstanding. * The Mail on Sunday * Rebecca Wait is a master pageturner * Buchkultur * Rebecca Wait moves between psychological novel, family novel and crime thriller. And remains as effectively sparse as the landscape of the Hebrides itself. Everything only rock and heath, moor and sea, in between fate, human * Berliner Zeitung * Our Fathers is a compelling and insightful exploration of the way the effects of an atrocity ripple out to affect an entire community. Wait has the gift of finding the universal truths in extreme events and making them live on the page. Precise, restrained and disarmingly funny, this novel beguiles, shocks and charms. In clear and tight writing, this is the riveting story of a few moments of violence and the decades of impact that follows. The novels makes very human what would otherwise be a headline. This is a writer to watch. Gripping * The Irish Times, The Gloss * Wait ... offers a thoughtful and wrenching portrait of a small Scottish town wracked by guilt over an incident of domestic violence. ... Fans of Patrick McCabe and Jon McGregor will appreciate Wait's melancholic snapshot * Publishers Weekly * Memory, masculinity, and survivor's guilt are picked apart as the novel treads its path, dodging sensationalism and easy resolutions while evoking haunted, inarticulate people in a relentless landscape. A piercing, vivid, and humane story. * Kirkus Reviews * Wait has written a novel that is powerful and insightful. Deeply compassionate and even its hardest to look at moments are aware, sensitive and humane. * New Books Magazine *
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About Rebecca Wait

Rebecca Wait grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside and graduated from Oxford University with a first in English. Alongside her writing she teaches in a London secondary school. She has written for the New Statesman, Independent and Pool on subjects as diverse as suicide, cults and autism and appeared on Woman's Hour. The author of two previous novels, The View on the Way Down and The Followers, she lives with her boyfriend in south London.
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Rating details

765 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 41% (311)
4 41% (311)
3 16% (126)
2 2% (16)
1 0% (1)
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