- 21 Aug 18
Rewarding Return From The English Patient Man
Nathaniel and Rachel are seemingly abandoned by their parents in post-war London, left behind as their father's work takes him abroad. Their lodger and caretaker, The Moth, introduces them to a strange cast of characters including The Darter, who takes the young Nathaniel under his wing.
They smuggle greyhounds, and dodgy crockery, up and down the Thames. School is all but abandoned, and the young man falls in love in the wilds of a city still trying to get back to normal. But what of his mother? A violent incident brings things to a head, all is not as it seems.
Ondaatje's onion of a novel, his first since 2011's The Cat's Table, combines rich intrigue with a meditation on how we rewrite our memories by examining them, as the adult Nathaniel tries to piece together his mother's past in order to illuminate his own, “to fill in a story from a grain of sand or a fragment of discovered truth.”