Monday, May 6, 2013

Clay by Melissa Harrison

A lyrical and beautifully written debut detailing the lives of interconnected characters who live near to an urban park. The area and the city are never named. Melissa Harrison shows tremendous skill in weaving the narrative of her novel around the passing of a year with its unfolding seasons and the changes visible and hidden throughout the park and the urban sprawl. 
The characters are eight year old T.C. who is bereft by his Father's absence but neglected by his mother; he finds solace in nature and friendship in Jozef a Polish immigrant who misses his farm and his homeland. Sophia is a sprightly 78year old, who is trying to teach her granddaughter Daisy about the natural world outside of her cosy private school. Linda, Daisy's mother begins to reconnect with nature and her mother through the course of the book. Touching on themes of aging and childhood, crime, immigration and safety the characters’ lives impact on each other and the ever changing natural world is documented in detail. This was a wonderful read with a poetic intensity. Perfect for fans of Monica Ali and Zadie Smith.

Available now in hardback from Bloomsbury.

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