the debut novel
The stories before and after a man is confronted by his love-child.
Mark, a middle-aged art historian, has his life turned upside down when Clair suddenly appears at one of his university lectures. She claims to be the daughter of his relationship with Diane, the love of his youth, who died in Sarajevo twenty years before.
Although he does not believe he is Clair’s father, Mark decides to help her come to know the mother she barely remembers. At the same time, he relives the affair through Diane’s journals.
Together they journey across Europe to Sarajevo where they uncover the truth about Diane’s fate. By confronting his past, Mark finally manages to move beyond his grief, enabling him to open his heart to new love.
The novel is narrated through the voices of Mark and Clair as well as secret journals kept by Diane.
The poise and control of the narrative take the reader immediately inside the fictional dream, and the style of it put me in mind of Disgrace.Ross Raisin, author of God’s Own Country.
An elegant and deeply poignant story of intense love, hope and despair played out against the backdrop of 1990s war-torn Yugoslavia and modern-day Europe. I recommend this book both for the beguiling layers of the narrative and the excellence of its prose.Tahir Shah, author of The Caliph’s House.