A brilliant novel about the London of today – a shifting, exciting, dangerous place where people search for the meaning of home. Peopled with wonderful characters and, as is usual for this author, a provocative story about our times.
When a dead body is found in the Thames, caught in the chains of HMS Belfast, it begins a search for a missing woman and confirms a sense that in London a person can become invisible once outside their community – and that assumes they even have a community.
A policeman,a documentary film maker and an Irish nurse named Chrissie all respond to the death of the unknown woman in their own ways. London is a place of random meetings, shifting relationships - and some, like Chrissie intersect with many. The filmmaker and the policeman meanwhile have safe homes with wives – or do they? An immigrant family speaks their own language only privately; they have managed to integrate – or have they?
The wonderful Linda Grant weaves a tale around ideas of home; how London can be a place of exile or expulsion, how home can be a physical place or an idea. How all our lives intersect and how coincidence or the randomness of birth place can decide how we live and with whom.