Author: Paul Harding
Publication Info: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged (2010)
Summary/Review: This book is set around the visions of an elderly man on his deathbed remembering his childhood and his own father whom he hadn’t seen in 70 years. This is not a straightforward narrative with visions and vignettes dominating in an asynchronous away. For this reason alone I’d suggest that this book would be better read in print rather than listening to the audiobook like I did. It’s a pretty book with lyrical writing and some scenes stand out (such as when the father returns covered in mud after an epileptic seizure to find his family holding supper for him) but overall this book didn’t grab me.
“Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing at all, isn’t it? And as you split frost-laced wood with numb hands, rejoice that your uncertainty is God’s will and His grace toward you and that that is beautiful, and part of a greater certainty, as your own father always said in his sermons to you at home. And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.”