The Slowworm's Song (Hardback)
  • The Slowworm's Song (Hardback)
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The Slowworm's Song (Hardback)

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Hardback 288 Pages
Published: 03/03/2022
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Waterstones Says

The acclaimed author of Pure delivers a thoughtful and perceptive meditation on guilt and the impossibility of outrunning your past, as a summons to an inquiry reawakens dreadful memories of the Northern Irish Troubles.

By the Costa Award-winning author of Pure, a profound and tender tale of guilt, a search for atonement and the hard, uncertain work of loving.

An ex-soldier and recovering alcoholic living quietly in Somerset, Stephen Rose has just begun to form a bond with the daughter he barely knows when he receives a summons - to an inquiry into an incident during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

It is the return of what Stephen hoped he had outdistanced. Above all, to testify would jeopardise the fragile relationship with his daughter. And if he loses her, he loses everything.

Instead, he decides to write her an account of his life; a confession, a defence, a love letter. Also a means of buying time. But time is running out, and the day comes when he must face again what happened in that faraway summer of 1982.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781529354195
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 218 x 142 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The theme is handled in a way that is bolder and more exquisitely menacing than anything he's done before . . . It's all real, and all fictional, gorgeously so. You read what might have been a perfectly commonplace story of failure and redemption with your pulse racing, all your senses awake . . . restrained, beautifully written - Elizabeth Lowry, Guardian

I spent the first half of The Slowworm's Song in a sort of ecstasy, marvelling at Miller's masterful characterisation; his confident evocation of army life and sensitive depiction of the Troubles; the nuanced exploration of alcoholism; the clean, well-made prose style studded with moments of descriptive beauty . . . Stephen is an unforgettable character, and Miller has pulled off the miraculous feat of sketching a full human life in a few hundred pages - Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times

A beautiful, lambent, timely novel that admits our worst capacities while insisting on accountability and our ability to improve. Andrew Miller is among those brave male writers steering a progressive course. Yet he remains, as ever, unique, visionary, a master at unmasking humanity - Sarah Hall

Gorgeously written . . . it approaches the Troubles from a unique angle . . . Since his debut, Ingenious Pain, Miller has shown a knack for historical immersion, and he continues to excel in it here - Ethan Croft, Literary Review

The focused interiority of Stephen's narration, together with the slowburning fuse of a plot, make for a quiet intensity that stretches the nerves . . . this empathic and artful novel is about both the mysteries we are to ourselves, and the power of speech - Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

A painful yet beautiful novel . . . Miller is a wonderful storyteller, as comfortable writing about the Napoleonic wars as the Troubles . . . In this novel, Stephen's reckoning may be extreme but his message is universal - Susie Mesure, Spectator

The multiple award-winning author of Pure returns with a tender, compelling and exquisitely written novel of extraordinary power . . . Exploring a brutal chapter in the unhappy and sometimes shameful history of Northern Ireland, this wonderful novel is also a story of atonement and redemption - Edward Argyle, Daily Express

Miller tackles big themes and weaves a profound and poignant tale about shame, trauma and the possibility of redemption - Lucy Popescu, Summer Reading, Tablet

Andrew Miller's gentle, beautifully crafted sentences belie the often brutal truths behind the narrative. The image of the slowworm, silent and sinister, finding its way into the precious earth, is set against a song of light and life that won't be silenced - Victoria Barry, Scotsman

Andrew Miller is one of our finest writers. Few can match his sensitivity of touch, eye for telling detail and acute feel for setting . . . The passages describing Rose's military duty are impeccably researched and viscerally real - Peter Carty, i

The sections detailing Stephen's army life, and particularly those covering his tour of duty in Belfast, are excellent: immersive in their detail and atmosphere . . . [Miller] has sufficient decorum, talent and sensitivity to do justice to his delicate subject matter - Rob Doyle, Observer

His evocation of squaddie life rings absolutely true . . . It's deeply moving to see how this self-torturing individual gradually learns that he's surrounded by helpers, often in the unlikeliest of guises, while tiny flowers of grace spring up in stony places - Suzi Feay, Tablet

There is no easy resolution, and that is why The Slowworm's Song . . . is so affecting. It is about truth, objective or otherwise, and about the attempts of flawed human beings to live with it - Nicholas Clee, Times Literary Supplement

A poignant and profound tale of a man seeking atonement - Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

A stunning work of fiction, a beautifully written tale of conflict and family fracture . . . The Slowworm's Song is a sublime reminder of how a great novel can have such a deep impact - Martin Chilton, Independent

Moving and compassionate - Reader's Digest

It's difficult not to be moved by Stephen's heartfelt words as he comes face to face with what happened in that 1982 summer - Belfast Telegraph

It reads truer than memoir . . . A state-of-the-nation novel, in elegiac prose - New York Times Book Review

Expertly paced . . . as taut as a thriller . . . Miller, with his acute eye for detail and his practiced sense of timing, describes these Belfast streets and this soldier's experience so plainly and yet so evocatively that both become new again - Wall Street Journal

A stunning work of fiction, a beautifully written tale of conflict and family fracture . . . The Slowworm's Song is a sublime reminder of how a great novel can have such a deep impact. - Martin Chilton, Independent

[A] painful yet beautiful novel . . . Miller is a wonderful storyteller, as comfortable writing about the Napoleonic wars as the Troubles . . . Stephen's reckoning may be extreme but his message is universal. - Susie Mesure, Spectator

Few novelists are as virtuosic and as varied as Andrew Miller . . . Meticulous research, reinforcing the narrative, never swamping it, is another Miller trademark, so it's no surprise that his evocation of squaddie life rings absolutely true . . . It's deeply moving to see how this self-torturing individual gradually learns that he's surrounded by helpers, often in the unlikeliest of guises, while tiny flowers of grace spring up in stony places. - Suzi Feay, Tablet

Andrew Miller is one of our finest writers. Few can match his sensitivity of touch, eye for telling detail and acute feel for setting . . . The passages describing Rose's military duty are impeccably researched and viscerally real. - Peter Carty, i

Miller - a much-awarded writer stepping out of his comfort zone of omnisciently narrated historical fiction - has sufficient decorum, talent and sensitivity to do justice to his delicate subject matter. - Rob Doyle, Observer

A tender, compelling and exquisitely written novel of extraordinary power . . . Written with searing honesty, [Stephen's story] is a confession but, above all, it is a letter of love. - Edward Argyle, Daily Express

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“A moving tale..”

An ex-soldier, still psychologically affected by his experiences in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, is turning his life around. He has his alcoholism under control and is establishing a connection with... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 16

“How does Andrew Miller manage to get better and better?”

An absolute wonder! In part so tender it melts your heart, in parts brutal, in parts hilarious, but above all it is magnificent story telling. A classy wonderful book, which I would
100% recommend. I just loved it!

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12

“stunningly poignant”

Stephen Rose grew up on the Somerset Levels as part of a Quaker community. At 16 he rebelled against this and joined the army. Now, 40 years later, he is a recovering alcoholic living from day to day in his former... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 9

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