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The Waiting: A Novel by Regi Claire (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780956628381)
'One sleety day in the Edinburgh suburbs, the elderly Lizzie Fairbairn opens her door to a strange young girl with stigmata-marked palms. Her name is Rachel, and she is a Scottish-Swiss student bent on discovering more about her grandmother, Lizzie's erstwhile friend, Marlene. What follows is a pilgrimage of recollection, a cathartic skittering between past and present. ... Regi Claire conjures these memories with great acuity. Against the backdrop of wartime Edinburgh, the girls spend their adolescence executing dolls and ogling "the porridgy brain tissue" of ghastly waxworks. Such images of complacent violence and sideshow kink - reminiscent, at times, of an early Ian McEwan - recur throughout the novel. There are moments of brilliant period detail - countryside jaunts with Polish soldiers, Edith Piaf crackling on the gramophone. The past, we are assured, is as comforting as it is disquieting. ... Claire describes the fears and solaces of old age with an affecting tenderness. The solitariness of [Lizzie's] walks along the Meadows is offset by the "small mercies" of ritualistic pleasures, of Askit Powder and Glacier Mints. Rachel's abrupt arrival forces Lizzie out of these snug commonplaces, and her acts of recollection bring with them a peculiar redemptive power.' Laura Profumo, Times Literary Supplement
'This is a good book. It doesn't mess around - it's good from the first page to the last. ... heartbreakingly real and utterly compelling. ... I absolutely loved this book.' Cynthia Rogerson, Northwords Now
"Much of the relish this novel provides resides in its author’s gift for language, its rhythms and cadence, its power to evoke, its potential for fresh and striking imagery." Tom Adair, Scotland on Sunday, 25 November 2012
"Regi’s writing is clean and crisp. She has a gift for observation and an ability to skewer a moment with her choice of – often surprisingly sinister –detail. This is a great read!" Lesley Glaister, Novelist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of St Andrews
"…dexterous structural complexity, marking a new maturity in Regi Claire’s writing, especially in its vision of age." Randall Stevenson, Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature, University of Edinburgh.
"Narrated by a most fascinating, complex and outrageous character, an old woman who defies every conventional vision of the elderly and comes bursting off the page, inspiring humour and pathos in equal measure." Lesley Glaister
How far can you go to get what you want? It is a few weeks before Christmas and Rachel, a messed-up young student from Switzerland doing a PhD on Calvinism, doesn’t baulk at drugging Lizzie Fairbairn, the elderly widow whose Edinburgh home she invades, then stealing what she thinks belongs to her by rights.How far can you go to get what you want? It is a few weeks before Christmas and Rachel, a messed-up young student from Switzerland doing a PhD on Calvinism, doesn’t baulk at drugging Lizzie Fairbairn, the elderly widow whose Edinburgh home she invades, then stealing what she thinks belongs to her by right.
Regi Claire is the author of Fighting It; The Beauty Room and Inside-Outside. She is an Executive Committee Member of Scottish PEN and a Creative-writing tutor at the National Galleries of Scotland. She became a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund in autumn 2012. Swiss by birth and education, she moved to Scotland in 1993 and is married to Edinburgh Makar and novelist Ron Butlin.
|Publisher||Word Power Books|
|Published in||United Kingdom|