Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain. With lyrical writing and a perfectly paced plot, the tension of the impending confrontation mounts whilst allowing the reader to become attached to the main characters.

I still eye the Booker list, of course, but I am increasingly interested in the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, for one, which plays more predictably to my own preference for both good scene setting (yay, exposition! The former is an often-forgotten art form in the contemporary novel, which often seeks to impress rather than entertain, but the latter is what makes him one of the most impressive novelists at work today.

As they play guitars, take laudanum and drag their mattresses outside, the story looks like it might become a cross between The Wicker Man and a 19th-century stoner comedy.

Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. When John finds himself eating in the same hotel bedroom as Emily, Miller describes how: “Hehe could not get the word fucking out of his head.

It's partly a sense of being kept at arms length from him, that puzzles me but perhaps it's a metaphor for his dissociation with his past?

Then she stood a while in the odd grey light of the snow, looking at the soft confusion of footprints by the door of the house. But what begins as if it might be a full-immersion historical novel (in the manner, say, of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, also set during that war) quickly becomes instead a psychological mystery. But until the end much of the cat-and-mouse suspense in “Now We Shall Be Entirely Free” is unwound and undercut — deliberately, it would seem — by the plot’s way of going off on tangents and detours.A curious and compelling story, that questions how people are to navigate through turbulent emotions following a traumatic experiences, grief and self reproach - to then find a sense of direction in their lives.

My first book by this author whose previous books have won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Costa/Whitbread Prize and IMPAC Dublin Literary award and been shortlisted for the Booker prize– I was drawn to this book by a review in the Guardian which stated “the fact it’s not made this year’s Man Booker longlist is already something of a travesty”. His second novel, CASANOVA, was published in 1998, followed by OXYGEN, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award and the Booker Prize in 2001, and THE OPTIMISTS, published in 2005.Hopefully when he promotes the latest novel, the chance will arise to ask Andrew Miller about the Frend love triangle, and my suspicions about Thorpe’s death. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free , a high grade cat-and-mouse manhunt that covers the length of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars - a sort of The 39 Steps with added malice - is pitch-perfect.

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