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Late summer 1946- the Wash on the Fenland coast. Into a suspicious and isolated community comes James Mercer, until recently a serving captain in the Engineers, who is now employed in the demolition of redundant gun platforms. A relationship grows between Mercer and the wife and daughter of a soldier who is soon expected home - though he is returning not from active service but from a sentence in military gaol, and his arrival is awaited with anxiety. ercer also befriends Mathias, a German prisoner of war engaged in similar work who has no wish to be repatriated; and Jacob, a Jew, former glassmaker and camp survivor, of whose devastated journey to this isolated place Mercer gradually learns. He learns, too, of the bond between the German and the Jew and is drawn further into their history as the ex-soldier finally returns and begins to re-establish his overbearing authority. n a place where nothing has changed for decades, the agents of destruction and renewal are at work and everyone begins to search for his or her piece of solid ground. As the summer dies, animosities flare, prejudices and enmities are burnished and the six main characters circle each other like the combatantsshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 158 x 232 x 8mm | 199.58g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552999717
  • 9780552999717

Review quote

" Edric is one of those immensely skilled novelists who seems fated to be discovered insultingly late in a productive career when caught in the arbitrary spotlight of Booker nomination or television adaptation. Booksellers take note: this is a writer to put into the hands of people looking for ' someone new' ." -- Patrick Gale, "Independent "" Peacetime has a seriousness and a psychological edge that nine out of ten novelists would give their eye teeth to possess." -- "Sunday Times"show more

About Robert Edric

Robert Edric was born in 1956. His novels include Winter Garden (1985 James Tait Black Prize winner), A New Ice Age (1986 runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize), A Lunar Eclipse, The Earth Made of Glass, Elysium, In Desolate Heaven, The Sword Cabinet, The Book of the Heathen (shortlisted for the 2001 WH Smith Literary Award) and Peacetime (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2002). Cradle Song is the first book in the Song Cycle Trilogy, the second book, Siren Song, is now available from more

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