ContemporaryLean Fall Stand by Jon Mcgregor

Lean Fall Stand by Jon Mcgregor


This is your sign to read that book you would never usually pick.

Two things you need to know before I explain why a CRIMINALLY under hyped book I wouldn’t ever have chosen is going to be one of my favourites of the year: 

1. @jon_mcgregor is a multiple award winning and shortlisted writer, a press profile described him as the author all writers want to emulate. Therefore my normal scepticism immediately kicked in. 
2. Hilary FREAKING Mantel is on the cover, stating “Beautiful.. his writing makes every heart beat register”. So I was scared to read it and not love something the legend herself recommends. Other huge writers such as Maggie O Farrel also sing its praises.

In all honesty something about the synopsis (see below) made me reticent. @4thestatebooks sent us a copy last year when it was published and I just never got round to it. Until I felt an odd pull to it on Friday night. And didn’t put it down once from start to finish. 

I was so deeply moved and gripped by this book that I insisted on upending our schedule this week and posting about it immediately.

Beginning in an Antarctic research expedition that goes fatally wrong, we follow seasoned explorer Robert ‘Doc’ Wright, who holds the clues to what happened, but is no longer able to communicate them. His long suffering wife Anna becomes his carer and Robert has to relearn many basic skills.

This has all the ingredients of a mesmerising book. A thrilling, propulsive start which changes pace midway when the dysfunctional family face total upheaval. Seeing people struggling after trauma and strokes, watching as they reaffirm their identity and independence was profoundly haunting and powerful. 

So many themes and messages percolate in this relatively short read which is part of its brilliance. The author questions why people put themselves in such danger, how this affects loved ones in life and death. His use of language is at times daring, sparse and masterful, I could feel the Antarctic cold seeping through the pages. Just phenomenal.

~ Chaya

Thank you @4thestatebooks I admit it you were right all along {Ad:PR Copy}

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