That They Might Lovely Be
by David Matthews
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 08 Dec 2017 | Archive Date 01 Jan 2018
John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Top Hat Books
No-one thought Bertie Simmonds could speak. So, when he is heard singing an Easter hymn, this is not so much the miracle some think as a bolt drawn back, releasing long-repressed emotions with potentially devastating consequences... A decade later, Bertie marries Anstace, a woman old enough to be his mother, and another layer of mystery starts to peel away. Beginning in a village in Kent and set between the two World Wars, That They Might Lovely Be stretches from the hell of Flanders, to the liberating beauty of the Breton coast, recounting a love affair which embraces the living and the dead.
A Note From the Publisher
David Matthews’ excellent first novel is about love unknown, about sin and its consequences, about grief and even about redemption. Although there is war, suicide, loneliness and despair, it is a deeply hopeful novel. The story is romantic but is far more than just a romance. The mute son of the schoolmaster, who may or may not really be the illegitimate son of his spinster daughter, is at the heart of the novel. His character develops as he discovers speech, grows and eventually is able to form a mature relationship; escaping from the claustrophobic family home and seeing his first adopted refuge destroyed by war. This is a very good read. The dialogue is particularly well written and realistic, the era is evoked perfectly and without artificial information being used to prop up the action. The perfect material for a film or mini-series, That They Might Lovely Be is a delight to read.
Fr Richard Peers, blogger, Director of Education in the Anglican diocese of Liverpool