Tom is travelling from Belfast to Sunderland to collect his sick son Luke and bring him home for Christmas. Ice and snow have closed the airports, forcing Tom to drive across a frozen and treacherous landscape. Along the way we learn about Tom’s family life, his relationship with his wife Lorna and their relationship with their troubled eldest son, Daniel. Profound and deeply moving, this novel will have you reeling. Without question, this is Park’s masterpiece.
Recommended by Brian Blacker, Dubray Grafton St
Set in a frozen winter landscape, the new novel from the prize-winning, acclaimed author David Park is a psychologically astute, expertly crafted portrait of a father's inner life and a family in crisis
An Irish Times Book of 2018
I am entering the frozen land, although to which country it belongs I cannot say.
The world is hushed, cloaked in snow. Transport has ground to a halt, flights cancelled and roads treacherous. Yet Tom must venture out into this transformed landscape to collect his son Luke, sick and stranded in his student lodgings. During this solitary journey from Belfast to Sunderland by car and boat, Tom reflects on his life: the beloved wife he leaves behind, labouring to create the perfect Christmas and mend their family's cracks with seasonal cheer; the son he is driving towards, yet struggles to connect with; the countless small disappointments of his photography career; and the absence that is always there as a voice in his head - his other son, Daniel.
In prose both lyrical and effortless, David Park vividly presents us with the inner life of a man grappling with existence's challenges: the memories that haunt us, the secrets that divide us, and the bonds that strengthen us. Meditating on marriage, masculinity, parenthood and ambition, this novel encapsulates, with its exquisitely nuanced, precisely delineated depiction of human experience, the unsolved mystery at the heart of our lives.