Last Days in Cleaver Square
by Patrick McGrath
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 20 May 2021 | Archive Date 14 Jan 2022
Random House UK, Cornerstone, Hutchinson
'This is a wonderful, thrilling novel . . . in Last Days in Cleaver Square McGrath has broken through to new depths of insight and emotion.' JOHN BANVILLE
'It has a wonderful otherworldly quality that keeps you turning the pages . . I can't think of anything else quite like it. It weaves a kind of spell.' RACHEL JOYCE
'Let there be no more of this clucking and wheedling. Oh Pa, are you sure? Or: Oh Francis, is this really a good idea? Let me be clear. I am always sure, and it is always a good idea.'
An old man is sleeping fitfully. It's too hot. The air is thick with Spanish Jasmine floating in from his overgrown garden. And he's not sure whether he'll be woken by General Franco sitting on the end of his bed.
It's 1975 and Francis McNulty is nearing the end of his life but feeling far from peaceful. A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, he is tormented by grief and guilt about a brief, terrible act of betrayal from that time; and he's started seeing his old nemesis on the street, in the garden and now in his bedroom. Neither he nor his daughter Gillian, who lives with him in Cleaver square, know what to do.
When Gillian announces her impending marriage to a senior civil servant, Francis realises that he must adapt to new circumstances - and that the time has come to confront his past once and for all.
'McGrath is a conjuror of fine detail . . . a master of the unreliable narrator - the best in the business.' JOHN SELF
'Wonderful. So atmospheric, engaging and engrossing . . . all the characters and relationships were superb.' CATHY RETZENBRINK