The Illuminations Hardcover – 29 January 2015
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As heard on BBC Radio 4 - the acclaimed new novel from Man Booker Prize-nominated author Andrew O'Hagan. How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? The Illuminations, Andrew O'Hagan's fifth novel, is a beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact. Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth a pioneer of British documentary photography. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain with the Royal Western Fusiliers, is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, part of a convoy taking equipment to the electricity plant at Kajaki. Only when Luke returns home to Scotland does Anne's secret story begin to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room.
About the Author
Andrew O'Hagan is one of his generation's most exciting and serious chroniclers of contemporary Britain. He has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize three times and was voted one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. He has won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. His most recent novel is The Illuminations (2015).
- Publisher : Faber & Faber; Main edition (29 January 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0571273645
- ISBN-13 : 978-0571273645
- Dimensions : 16.1 x 2.6 x 24 cm
- Customer reviews:
4.2 out of 5
37 global ratings
Top reviews from other countries
Two StarsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 August 2017
Disappointing. Too personal much of the time to interest.
Five StarsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 November 2017
Excellent. Would buy again. Highly recommended.
Beautiful and insightfulReviewed in Canada on 20 March 2016
Our Alexandria Book club had mixed reviews on this book. I think we were all a bit put off by the war-related tone and dialogue. All of us loved the prose and depth of understanding we found in the chapters depicting the lives of women and elderly women. He captured this cohort with perfection. Being a woman myself and having witnessed the decline of an aging parent and loved one, I was immensely pleased with his observations and depth of insight. remarkable. Overall, once we discussed and tied together all the chapters, we all came away with a deep appreciation for O'Hagan and the book. Beautiful and insightful well worth reading.
William J Boyd
Light at the end of the tunnelReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2015
This novel is a creditable effort to combine and analyse two serious social issues of the 21st century; dementia brought on by age and physical and mental trauma of veterans returning from war. Society fails to credit the lifetime achievements of the elderly or recognise the horrors and isolation of soldiers in conflict. O'Hagan links the generations with the tale of a grandmother and her grandson, joined intellectually and emotionally but surrounded by disfunctional friends and family unable to understand them. Ultimately, grandmother and grandson are reconciled by linking past and present.
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