This story concerning the properties of love – spiritual and carnal – is told in the context of the demonic forces of creation which perpetually threaten man but also inspire him.
Sexuality is such a force. It is primary to Man’s survival and to his understanding. If love is to exist – and Man must love – it can never free itself from its imperious and anarchic sexual origins. Thus, in the grievous dilemma unfolded in this tale, Brother James is confronted by such love as can annihilate him.
Pandemonium breaks loose on the mainland of Britain. The total collapse of order that follows with alarming swiftness through strikes and panic in the major cities paralyses the country. This releases the profound chaos within Brother James who has secluded himself on a wild Hebridean island to devote himself to a life of the spirit. Previously married and the lover of another woman, in his reunion with his daughter he is wrenched from his carapace of spiritual reclusion.
‘This remarkable novel is a concentrated and beautifully written study on the nature of love, spiritual and carnal. Can the two be reconciled?…
Stacey’s approach is through wonderfully detailed minutiae, observation of the people and of this “half Norse world belonging to the sea”…
Find me a style as fine as this, and I’ll show you a good book.’
Janice Elliott – The Sunday Telegraph
‘Tom Stacey writes better about loving than almost any other living writer.’
Eva Tucker – The Hampstead and Highgate Express