Three keenly observant and profoundly moving novels from an international bestselling British writer “with heart, soul, and a dark and a naughty wit” (The Observer).
“Patrick Gale writes with the understated fluency that is the hallmark of contemporary British fiction, and with the irony that usually accompanies it.” In the three novels collected here, the author of the international bestseller Notes from an Exhibition explores the complexities and ironies of men who have removed themselves from society and painful situations, only to find there’s no escaping their inner turmoil as they follow individual journeys of growth (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post).
Little Bits of Baby: Robin retreated to a remote island monastery after his childhood playmate, Candida, became engaged to Jake, their irresistibly sexy mutual friend. Now Candida is a mother, and she wants her long-lost friend to be the child’s godfather. When he returns to London after his five-year exile, Robin finds the city overwhelming and unfamiliar, but he must fight through his feelings if he is to conclude the unfinished business that originally caused him to flee, and take his place in the world once again.
“[A] blithe, original, engaging satire.” —The New York Times
Facing the Tank: For American academic Evan Kirby, the English city of Barrowcester—pronounced “Brewster”—is a welcome escape from the US and his brutal divorce. A historian of angels and demons, he has come to explore the cathedral library, but he will find there are no angels in this peculiar little village. From the agnostic bishop and his cannabis cookie–addicted mother to the sex-mad cardinal and the schoolboy with a very unusual relationship with his spaniel, every Barrower has a secret, each more shocking than the last.
“[A] ridiculously crazy tour de force . . . If E. F. Benson, Iris Murdoch and Fay Weldon were to produce a story in some mad collusion, the result might be something like this.” —Publishers Weekly
Tree Surgery for Beginners: Armistead Maupin has said of Patrick Gale: “There’s really no one he can’t inhabit, understand, and forgive.” That certainly applies to the arborist Lawrence Frost in this epic redemptive novel, who is forced into a journey of self-searching after being accused of killing his wife. Following Frost’s pilgrimage to the Caribbean and eventually to the redwoods of northern California, Gale compassionately chronicles the healing of “a man whose work as a tree surgeon is a metaphor for the growth of his soul and family” (Publishers Weekly).
“Playful and wise. In prose of sparkling precision, Gale serves up misadventures—satirical, farcical and tragic.” —The New York Times