Land of the Living
by Georgina Harding
Pub Date 01 Nov 2018
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‘She is nowhere near as well-known as she should be … Exquisite’ Alice O’Keeffe, Bookseller, November highlights 2018
‘A lyrical novel about war and memory, as a Norfolk man is haunted by his time in the jungles of India during the second world war, from the author of the Orange-shortlisted The Painter of Silence’ Guardian, Books to look out for in 2018, 6 January 2018
A small yet profound masterpiece of war, loss and survival, rendered in prose of rhythmic precision, subtlety and exceptional sensitivity
Every time the dream came it was different and yet he felt that he had dreamt it exactly that way before. The trees, there were always the trees, and the mist and the shadows and the running.
Charlie’s experiences at the Battle of Kohima and the months he spent lost in the remote jungles of Assam are now history. Home and settled on a farm in Norfolk and newly married to Claire, he is one of the lucky survivors. Starting a family and working the land seem the best things a man can be doing.
But a chasm exists between them. Memories flood Charlie’s mind; at night, on rain-slicked roads and misty mornings in the fields, the past can feel more real than the present. What should be said and what left unsaid? Is it possible to find connection and forge a new life in the wake of unfathomable horror?
A beautifully conceived, deftly controlled and delicately wrought meditation on the isolating impact of war and the inescapable reach of the past, Georgina Harding’s haunting and lyrical novel questions the very nature of survival, and what it is that the living owe the dead.