Tim Pears’s first novel about a hot summer in a Devon village where time seems to stand still won the Hawthornden Prize.
Everything seems to be slowing down in the tiny Devon village where Alison lives, as if the sun is pouring hot glue over it. ‘This idn’t nothin’,’ says Alison’s grandmother, recalling a drought when the earth swallowed lambs, and the summer after the war when people got electric shocks off each other. But Alison knows her grandmother’s memory is lying: this is far worse. She feels that time has stopped just as she wants to enter the real world of adulthood. In fact, in the cruel heat of summer, time is creeping towards her and closing in around the valley.
‘Most beautifully written, hypnotic as Proust, very funny and full of love that doesn’t cloy. A dreamy, easy, wonderful read – and quite remarkable for a first novel’ Jane Gardam