Time Present and Time Past
Time Present and Time Past by Deirdre Madden is a brilliant and beautiful new novel from the acclaimed and much-loved author of Molly Fox’s Birthday.
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Shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award.
When Fintan Buckley develops an interest in old autochrome photographs, strange things start to happen. To all appearances, Fintan holds down a successful job and enjoys life with his conventional middle-class family in Dublin, yet inwardly he starts to experience states of altered consciousness, with unsettling hallucinations and sudden insights. Meanwhile, Fintan’s sister Marina has been unearthing family stories from the past and the two of them, in different ways, find themselves renegotiating their history and the decisions that have brought them to this place, this present.
'With her latest offering, Madden adds a consummately crafted novel to an already formidable body of work ... By the end of the book the reader realises that Madden - cleverly, playfully, with sly wit and real skill - has translated this intellectual and poetic expression of time into a deeply moving portrait of domestic and family life.
This is an exalting story that celebrates the survival of fragile folk, and revels in the mysteries of the commonplace. An outstanding book.
Confiding and measured, and allows fantasy to challenge memory and yet remain the truth.
Enthralling ... Elegantly written, deeply reflective and beautifully shaped, this rich and luminous novel is more daring than it seems. It is an understated little masterpiece.
'The novel begins as a low-key domestic drama before developing into a compelling meditation on memory, transience and loss ... I found it exquisitely done.
This is a subtle, deeply thoughtful novel, its tone so clear that the writing plays over character and action like water over stones ... This beguiling novel is also a clear-eyed, even forensic study of a family crammed with secrets to the point of sickness, reflecting a wider society that bolts down consumer goods in order to purge itself of the past.
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