So Many Ways to Begin

So Many Ways to Begin

3.79 (1,149 ratings by Goodreads)
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'These broken pieces were all he had; like keepsakes pulled from the ruins, like photo albums tied to mattresses on the carts of refugees. Fragile traces, dug from the cold wet earth. Fragile traces which would one day crumble into dust.' Coventry Museum curator David Carter - a man driven constantly to seek the thrill of old stories made new - cannot help but wish for more: that his wife would still be the ambitious and sparkling Scottish girl he once found so irresistible, that his job could live up to the promise it once held, that his daughter's arrival will bring her parents closer together. But Auntie Julia's careless words years earlier have left David restless with the knowledge that his whole life has been constructed around an untruth. And so he attempts to begin anew, cataloguing the joys and disappointments, the migrations and arrivals, the intersecting lives around him. Because once, long ago, a young Irish girl called Mary Friel arrived in war-time London an innocent and left carrying a shame; a shame she still hopes can be diminished by a knock at the door of her Donegal home. There are so many ways to begin, and to live; so many ways to love, and to not love, and to end. Against the backdrop of post-WW2 Britain, Jon McGregor's lyrical, intimate novel explores what happens when our lives fail to take the turns we expect, and the ways we learn to let go of the people we might have more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 136 x 216 x 30mm | 399.17g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Export ed
  • 0747584133
  • 9780747584131

Review quote

'My book of the year. A magical, spellbinding, profound novel' Daily Telegraph on IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS 'A dream of a novel ... It is not every novelist who has the gift, as Jon McGregor does, of reminding his readers of that heaven in a wild flower, that infinity in a grain of sand' The Times on IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS 'Extraordinary ... McGregor's triumphant prose poem of ordinariness has a very contemporary kind of spirituality about it' Sunday Times on IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS 'The work of a burning new talent ... These individual, unremarkable lives are netted up onto the page with an extraordinary clarity, compassion and immediacy' Daily Mail on IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGSshow more

About Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is the author of the critically acclaimed If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, and winner of the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. He was born in Bermuda in 1976. He grew up in Norfolk and now lives in Nottingham. This is his second more

Rating details

1,149 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 25% (287)
4 39% (453)
3 27% (312)
2 7% (78)
1 2% (19)
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