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John Banville's Ancient Light is a story of obsessive young love and the power of grief
'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.'
In a small town in 1950s Ireland a fifteen-year-old boy has illicit meetings with a thirty-five-year-old woman - in the back of her car on sunny mornings, and in a rundown cottage in the country on rain-soaked afternoons. Unsure why she has chosen him, he becomes obsessed and tormented by this first love. Half a century later, actor Alexander Cleave - grieving for the recent loss of his daughter - recalls these trysts, trying to make sense of the boy he was and of the needs and frailties of the human heart.
Praise for Ancient Light:
'Brilliant. Banville excels in his brightly lit descriptions of self-absorbed teenage lust', Guardian
'Dazzling . . . captures a long-lost adolescent world of passion and desire', Independent
'Banville perfectly captures the spirit of adolescence ... This is a luminous breathtaking work', Independent on Sunday
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen previous novels including The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize. He was recently awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Dublin.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
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This was a very atmospheric read with beautiful language and imagery used. This was a wistful look back at a time in the author’s life when he was ‘awakened’ by the mother of his best friend. The end of the affair... More
“Billie Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with my mother”. This is the third novel that Banville has written about Alexander Cleave, now an aging actor reflecting on his coming of age. I haven’t read the... More
Personally this is not the sort of book I would normally read, and consequently I felt uncomfortable with some of the scenes, reading it felt somewhat laborious at times. However despite this I found myself yearning... More