This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell
I try not to be too gushing when I write about the books I have read so I tend to stay away from words like, 'amazing' or 'wonderful'. However, I have to say it. This Must Be the Place is a wonderful, amazing book. Where to start? I can't possibly do it justice but here goes. There are so many characters to follow that you might worry that you cannot keep a handle on them all. This isn't the case. The story is centred on a married couple, Daniel and Claudette and their extended families and friends. They are skilfully interwoven across continents and time.
The narrative follows a non- linear framework as you go back and forward through time. This means that the story is slowly unfolded and you get different perspectives from different characters who take the lead. Knitting it all together at the centre is Daniel and Claudette's relationship which is as nuanced and complex as their characters are drawn. As an examination of a marriage, it works. You see the characters' faults and their virtues and really come to care about them, as secrets emerge.
I find Maggie O'Farrell's writing style and use of language to be marvellous. It draws you in. You feel that she has crafted the words carefully together. I particularly liked it when she changed the format, such as the auction catalogue where we learnt of developments through the objects and text attached to them or the transcript of an interview.
In short: a complex mosaic of time, place and character shimmering like a jewel.
Thanks to Georgina Moore who sent me a copy of the book on behalf of the publishers, Headline Publishing Group via Bookbridgr.