x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Nigel Farndale's novel The Road Between Us depends on some extraordinary events

A father and son haunted by lost loves are the protagonists of Farndale's historical fiction.

The Road Between Us by Nigel Farndale.
The Road Between Us by Nigel Farndale.

The Road Between Us

Nigel Farndale

Doubleday

Dh78

The Road Between Us plots the consequences of two extraordinary events: in the present, Edward Northcote, a British civil servant, finds himself on a road in Kandahar Province after spending 11 years captive in a cave, alone and in complete darkness; and just before the Second World War, in London, his father Charles Northcote is arrested and subsequently court martialled for “conduct unbecoming” with a German man.

The novel follows both men as they are haunted by lost loves – Edward’s wife has committed suicide in his absence and Charles’ lover Anselm is interned in a German concentration camp following his deportation.

The author, Nigel Farndale, who was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards for his 2010 novel The Blasphemer, proves himself capable at describing the psychological strain of captivity, war and grief but the “mystery” surrounding Edward’s release, Anselm’s rescue and the subsequent temptation of incest with his daughter are simply unbelievable.

This isn’t badly written but others have fashioned more compelling and meaningful tales of love and war.

cdight@thenational.ae