|Buried River Press|
When the renowned author, Frank Carson, is found dead in a Californian swimming pool, in February 1950, it is left to Quentin Castle, a junior partner in his father’s literary agency, to break the news to Carson’s wife. Sympathetic to the plight of Carson’s now impoverished widow, and enraptured by the effect Claire Carson has on him, Quentin volunteers to bring Carson’s body back to England. However, once in Hollywood, Quentin is faced with a world very different from the post war austerity of 1950s Britain, and he is faced with series of choices which will affect his life forever.
Initially, the book gets off to a slow start. There is much to take in, both in terms of where the story is leading and of the characters who flit into and out of the story. I found that I had to concentrate on what was happening, and when, and why and to whom. Having said that, the story does start to make sense and about two thirds of the way into the story I became more involved with Quentin’s character and felt more at ease in his company.
The story spans several years and describes time and place accurately, I got a real sense of post war Britain and of the literary world of which Quentin is so much a part of and which the author describes well.
So overall, it’s a slow burner of a book and something rather different for me. I’m glad I had the chance to give it a try.
About the Author
Laura Kalpakian is the author of eleven novels and three prize-winning collections of original short fiction. Her work has appeared extensively in the UK and the USA. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a residency at Hawthornden Castle, Scotland, and her 2006 novel, American Cookery was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. A native Californian, Laura was educated on both the east and west coasts of the USA, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
My thanks to Buried River Press for my review copy of this book