Brought up in the Anglo-Welsh borders by an affectionate but alcoholic and feckless mother, Owen Ithell's sense of self is rooted in his long, vivid visits to his grandparents' small farm in the hills. There he is deeply impressed by his grandfather's primitive, cruel relationship with his... read more
“"How is it possible to love a woman, to make children together, and let her fall out of love with you? To fall out of love with her? It is possible, it happened. It seems like insanity now."”Owen
“"You couldn't believe what had grown in the blank space of brown soil: flowers of all shades of every colour, different sizes and shapes. The most beautiful thing you ever saw. A painting made of petals. It hadn't never occurred to me how a person creates such a sight, but someone had, this quiet man. He planted something in me too."”Mel
“There is a taste in the air in the late afternoon, a flavour. Not damp, exactly, though no longer the dry dustiness of the heat of the day. A change in the weather. It feels as if something's looming in the atmosphere around them, hiding, waiting to break.”
“The sky is dark, deep grey, almost black, a single enormous cloud heavy with water or ice. He pauses for a moment to listen, realizing as he does so it is silence that has prompted him. There is no sound of either birdsong or running water, the accompaniment to his and the children's odyssey. A stillness that is more like autumn than spring, as if the earth is holding its breath, this great organism anesthetizing itself against the approach of winter.Each and every one of us, Owen thinks, must undergo our own apocalypse. Is that why we are ready for the world's?”
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