As It Is in Heaven by Niall Williams came in as an eleventh hour 2006 book recommend over on the Hill blog and it just seemed to fit the moment.
I summoned a copy from my new internet book supplier (more about my Amazon fall out anon) and it was with me post-free almost the next day.
So here we go, Niall Williams another writer I have never heard of, and for the life of me I can't fathom how this has happened.
He lives in Ireland and he writes exquisitely.Words from me can't really do him justice and I'm not even going to try too hard, read the book and you will see why.
It's a tear-jerker for sure as Stephen Griffin and his father Philip realise that a great deal of life has remained on hold since they lost the other two members of the family in a fatal car accident.Philip, so consumed by grief that his only comfort in life will be to join his wife,suddenly realises he can only do that when he has left Stephen in a more emotionally secure state of mind.
You see? I'm messing it up already,I'm not going to say another word because I'm just making it all sound really syrupy and nothing could be further from the truth.Read the Hill Blog entry instead then you'll be convinced.
I love a book that weaves in music, Vikram Seth's great An Equal Music comes to mind, and this one has a bit of chess entwined too which always intrigues.
Page after page of beautiful writing that struck a very deep chord and I didn't want to put the book down, so I didn't.
I sat through most of New Year's Eve buried in it and finally read the last word at 11.46pm, that's how much fun I can be.
Be warned, by the final few pages you are emotionally in up to the gills and completely at the mercy of Niall Williams, he knows it too and he uses it to very good effect.I'm sure my heart really did miss a beat or two,or perhaps that's my age? I said "don't you dare" to Niall Williams quite a lot in those last few pages and you'll just have to find out for yourself whether he actually did.
As far as I can see there are at least three more of his novels readily available, I have one in hand and the others will be with me in a thrice all just waiting for that Niall Williams Moment to come along, you know them when you get them.