The Book of the Month

9781787330726
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Warlight

by Michael Ondaatje

Book Description:

A mesmerising new novel from the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The English Patient.

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war.

14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be?

A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.

Why Our Staff Love Warlight:

Can we ever truly know the ones that we love? This is the question that Warlight seeks to answer, a compelling story from the incomparable Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient). Readers across the world have come to know and love Ondaatje for his powerful stories told with measured, affecting prose, and this book is another wonderful addition to his works that will bring in a whole new legion of admiring readers.

Warlight tells the story of 14-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister Rachel, who are left in the care of an enigmatic man they call The Moth when their parents vanish to Singapore after World War Two. Left with their growing suspicions that their new guardian is not entirely who he seems, the two experience both an unlikely education and a kind of initiation into an underground world from the mysterious figures that walk in and out of The Moth’s life, leading them to question the true nature of their parents’ lives and disappearance. This is a mesmerising story of a life that can only be understood in retrospect, gorgeously written and layered with subtle meaning that will leave you bereft once you’ve turned the final page.

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