I'm really thrilled to be part of the Fairlight Moderns Blog Tour
The Nail House by Gregory Baines
1 August 2019
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this novella and the opportunity to be part of this blog tour
Lindon, an Australian project manager with a failed marriage behind him, is lured to China with the promise of a lucrative salary. His task: to solve the problem of a ‘Nail House’, the home of a stubborn old man who refuses to relocate, even as the bulldozers move in and the skyscrapers grow around him.
But as Lindon negotiates with the old man’s family, he finds sense where there is none. And love where there is war.
Lindon has relocated to China having left a failed marriage behind in Australia. He soon finds that his new role as a project manager for a construction company hits problems right from the start as he discovers, to his cost, that he must first demolish a building which is known as a 'Nail House', a term used when the owner of a property is offered money, so that the house in which they live can be demolished, but they refuse to budge despite a financial incentive.
Zhen Yi's parents live in the eponymous Nail House, and whilst Zhen is hoping to move away to live with her fiancé, she gets caught up in the complications concerning her family home, and so the repercussions linger, with both Lindon and Zhen Yi being drawn together over the space of the story. I was drawn into the complicated process of both of their lives, Lindon seems rather a gloomy individual, he's definitely out of his comfort zone in an unfamiliar environment, and struggles with lots of complicated emotions. Zhen Yi's confusion at her family's involvement only add to her overall sense that her life is spinning out of control.
The novella comes in at just around 152 pages and can be comfortably read in an afternoon, however, whilst it is a quick read, it's definitely not light on content. It's interesting to see how the story plays out with both Lindon and Zhen Yi's alternate chapters giving great insight into what is evolving from their own perspective.
The author writes knowledgeably, and manages to convey both atmosphere and intrigue. whilst at the same time keeping alive the integrity of the culture in which the story is set.
For Summer 2019 a collection of new short modern fictions from around the world
from Fairlight Modern
About the Author
Gregory Baines lives just outside Canberra, Australia. He has an arts degree from Newcastle University. He lived in China for thirteen years, where he also met his wife. There he wrote his first novel and had short stories published in anthologies and online.
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