The award-winning author of The Mulberry Empire brings us a sweeping chronicle of ordinary lives profoundly shaped by both the subtleties of everyday experience and the larger forces of history.
In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families deepens. But it will be the particular crises of ten-year-old Tim Glover-set off by two seemingly inconsequential but ultimately indelible acts of cruelty-that will erupt, full-blown, two decades later.
These lives unfold against the vividly rendered backdrop of twentieth-century England at the dawn of the Thatcher era: prosperity for some and disenfranchisement for others, which will have a drastic impact on both families.
Expansive and deeply felt, The Northern Clemency shows Philip Hensher to be one of our most masterly chroniclers of modern English life, and a storyteller of virtuosic gifts.