A Broken Thing
Author-editor Dabnet Stuart best summarises this debut novel "as relentless as Euripides, or Faulkner, whose "As I Lay Dying" is its formal model. Its central preoccupation is the sins (or in more secular terms, 'behaviour patterns') of fathers and mothers passing into the lives of their offspring. It also reminds us how many people, living and dead, ghost our daily experience, complicating and enriching our choices. Barton includes the dimension of mercy too -- the mutual forgiveness of failures by family members who, finally, find ways to realise they can't live without each other. An impressive, uncompromising book.
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