FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF LAST ORDERS AND MOTHERING SUNDAY, and reissued for the first time in Scribner, comes a novel called ‘Profound and powerful . . . an unputdownable read’ by Scotland on Sunday.
On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton – former Devon farmer, now proprietor of a seaside caravan park – receives the news that his brother Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in Iraq.
For Jack and his wife Ellie this will have a potentially catastrophic impact and compel Jack to make a crucial journey: to receive his brother’s remains, but also to return to the land of his past and confront his most secret, troubling memories.
Praise for Mothering Sunday:
'Bathed in light; and even when tragedy strikes, it blazes irresistibly… Swift’s small fiction feels like a masterpiece’ Guardian
‘Alive with sensuousness and sensuality … wonderfully accomplished, it is an achievement’ Sunday Times
‘From start to finish Swift’s is a novel of stylish brilliance and quiet narrative verve. The archly modulated, precise prose (a hybrid of Henry Green and Kazuo Ishiguro) is a glory to read. Now 66, Swift is a writer at the very top of his game’ Evening Standard
‘Mothering Sunday is a powerful, philosophical and exquisitely observed novel about the lives we lead, and the parallel lives – the parallel stories – we can never know … It may just be Swift’s best novel yet’ Observer
Swift's stunning new novel (after Light of Day) begins with deceptive slowness, detailing the lives of Jack and Ellie, the English husband-and-wife proprietors of a trailer park on the Isle of Wight. Jack and his brother Tom grew up on a dairy farm, but after mad cow disease decimates the livestock, their father commits suicide and the brothers grow apart Tom enlists and goes off to fight in Iraq, while Jack and Ellie built a happy, if quiet, existence. But when a letter from the Ministry of Defence arrives addressed to the old farm and rerouted "by someone with a long memory" to the Isle of Wight Jack learns that the burden of repatriating his brother's remains has fallen on his shoulders, a responsibility that will cause Jack to confront the complexities of "life and all its knowledge," and the sheltering peace of death. Swift (Last Orders) creates an elegant rawness with language that carries the reader through several layers of Jack's consciousness at once his lonely past, his uncertain future, and the ways in which his father and his brother both refuse to leave him alone, despite how long they've been gone.