On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton, former Devon farmer and now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park, receives the news that his soldier brother, Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in Iraq.
For Jack and his wife, Ellie, this will have a potentially catastrophic impact. For Jack in particular it means a crucial journey - to receive his brother’s remains, but it is also a journey into his own most secret, troubling memories and into the land of his and Ellie’s past.
Wish You Were Here is both a gripping account of things that touch and test our human core and a resonant novel about a changing England. Rich with Graham Swift’s love of the local and full of humor and tenderness in the face of tragedy, it is also, inescapably, about a wider, afflicted world. Moving toward an almost unbearably tense climax, it allows us to feel the stuff of headlines - the return of a dead soldier from a foreign war - as heartwrenching personal truth.
Graham Swift is the author of eight novels, including the Booker Prize–winning Last Orders and Waterland, which won the Guardian Fiction Award. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages. He lives in London.
“Swift weaves a story which is as much a lament for a vanished way of life as an attack on the madness of modernity. With unmistakable echoes of Thomas Hardy and E. M. Forster, he portrays a rural England that is no longer merely under threat, but has been comprehensively vanquished.” (Times Literary Supplement (London))
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