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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Before I Wake/Scott, John/Paper/0140256954/S055-E2
Jonathan Ford, childless at 43, moves restlessly through other people's lives. From Australia to Europe he pursues a series of ill-fated relationships with the vulnerable and the insecure. In turn he is pursued by his past, whose echoes he finds all around him: in Danielle, a young French poet condemned to perpetual childhood. In the ageing Violet, wickedly irreverent even as she struggles through her days alone in a council flat. In the flawed genius of the painter Malcolm Richardson. In many lives, ordinary and extraordinary, that he changes in the profoundest ways. It is through two sisters, themselves once hostage to the past, that Ford finally awakens to the present.
This is a story to treasure, a journey through what it means to be human, told with exquisite feeling by the award-winning author of What I Have Written.