Author(s): Patrick Gale
Picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club
To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.
A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything.
Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.
In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.
Shortlisted for Costa Novel Award 2015.
Patrick Gale has written a book which manages to be both tender and epic, and carries the unmistakeable tang of a true story. I loved it. -- Jojo Moyes Absorbing, moving and beautifully written, with echoes of EM Forster which I found especially enjoyable. -- Amanda Craig Beautifully structured around the warmest of warm hearts, but it's also run through with something new: a devastating chill of loss, fear and exile which keeps you shaking your head and biting your lip in concern and shame and disbelief. -- Louisa Young Bold, moving, intensely erotic - I couldn't put down this tale of passion and endurance, told with such tenderness. -- Patricia Duncker A tender tale of loss and love Sunday Times This is an intensely personal book. Gale was inspired by a true tale from his own family history, and the depth of feeling shows. It's one gay man reaching out to another across a century of social change, and his most powerfully moving novel yet Independent A writer with heart, soul, and a dark and naughty wit, one whose company you relish and trust Observer What Gale does so well is to delineate the unpremeditated consequences of actions...The final chapter left me with a lump in my throat Guardian A master storyteller. Quite simply, you believe every word he tells you Independent on Sunday Gale is not a sentimental writer, he's vividly aware of hardship and despair, but the overwhelming emotion in this fine book is one of tender, life-affirming joy Sun His best book yet Country Life This is a convincing and fascinating portrait of daily life over a century ago in a far away place. The mixture of adventure, historical sage and romance is utterly heartwrenching Sunday Mirror Gale is a skilful storyteller Metro Mr Gale often uses autobiographical detail to good effect; here, he has excelled himself with the historical detail, resulting in a beautifully written, satisfying story that deserves to be a bestseller Country Living Magazine A mesmerising storyteller; this novel is written with intelligence and warmth The Times Gale employs his gift as a writer to will such pockets of tolerance retrospectively into existence - for the sake of his relative, as well, perhaps, as for all of us. Humanity does not look quite so wretched through Patrick Gale's eyes Spectator Lightness of touch, one of Gale's characters observes, is desirable in a novelist, and it is one of Gale's virtues...Rich in atmosphere and period detail...this enjoyable tale is both witty and poignant Daily Mail A gorgeously written, bittersweet story about secrets and identity Good Housekeeping [A] fascinating novel -- Helen Dunmore Guardian Be inspired by Patrick Gale's entree to historical fiction... the deep undercurrents of love and desire that give the novel its pull will awaken you Independent magazine An epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking Hereford Times A gripping and deeply moving book about love, fear and hope Irish Times
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester before going to Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. One of this country's best-loved novelists, his most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through and the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition.