by Lee Cole
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Pub Date 17 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 30 Mar 2022
Faber and Faber Ltd, Faber & Faber
Eager to clean up his act after his troubled early twenties, Owen has returned to Kentucky to take a job as a groundskeeper at a small college in the Appalachian foothills, one which allows him to enrol on their writing course.
It's there that he meets Alma, a Writer-in-Residence, who seems to have everything Owen doesn't - a prestigious position, an Ivy League education, and published success as a writer. They begin a secret relationship, and as they grow closer, Alma, from a supportive, liberal family of Bosnian immigrants, struggles to understand Owen's fraught relationship with his own family and home.
Exploring the boundaries between life and art, and how our upbringings affect the people we can become, Groundskeeping is at heart a love story - a novel about two very different people navigating the turbulence of an all-consuming relationship, and the complications which can ruin it.
‘An extraordinary debut about the ties that bind families together and tear them apart across generations. Fierce, tender, and wholly unforgettable work from a hugely gifted writer.’ ANN PATCHETT
‘A smart, funny, exhilarating debut about that time in life when you are clawing your way to a future that feels murky and impossible to reach. Lee Cole takes a hard look at our fraught cultural moment, our divides large and small, with fresh insight and wisdom and tenderness. I truly loved it.’ LILY KING
‘A coming-of-age story inextricably bound with a love story, Groundskeeping gets at the hard work of finding your place in the world, the burden and exhilaration of fighting for who you might be.’ MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD
‘Scrupulously perceptive; Groundskeeping is filled with close observation, detailed shading. It is an absorbing love story, but it is also an examination of class in America, and it captures with sharp insight a moment in recent history.’ COLM TOIBIN
‘It’s one thing for a writer to have a great eye and another for him to know what it’s for. Lee Cole’s constantly roving eye is sharp and unerring and it misses exactly nothing.’ RICHARD RUSSO
Available on NetGalley
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