Published: March 2013
'Billie Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with is mother' In a small town in 1950s Ireland a fifteen-year-old boy has illicit meetings with a thirty-five-year-old woman - in the back of her car on sunny mornings, and in a rundown cottage in the country on rain-soaked afternoons. Unsure why she has chosen him, he becomes obsessed and tormented by this first love. Half a century later, actor Alexander Cleave - grieving for the recent loss of his daughter - recalls these trysts, trying to make sense of the boy he was and of the needs and frailties of the human heart. 'Dazzling . . . captures a long-lost adolescent world of passion and desire.' Independent 'Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death.' Financial Times 'As gorgeous and precise as in his 2005 Man Booker winner The Sea . . . evokes scenes so that they burn in the reader's mind.' Sunday Express 'Brilliant. Banville excels in his brightly lit descrptions of self-absorbed teenage lust.' Guardian
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