The Light of Amsterdam
by David Park
The Light of Amsterdam
by Author Name David Park
- Book details for title
- List Price: €16.00
- Format: Paperback, 216 x 135mm, 384pp
- Publication date: 29 Mar 2012
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- ISBN-13: 9781408825280
Alan is coming to terms with a recent divorce and the strain this has put on his relationship with his teenage son, Jack. In an attempt to get closer to his son, he takes Jack to a Bob Dylan concert in Amsterdam – the city of Alan’s youthful past. Karen is a single mother juggling two jobs in order to give her daughter a wedding to be proud of. While on the hen party in Amsterdam, she learns of a hurtful betrayal by her daughter that leads Karen to question the sacrifices she has made. And finally, Marion takes a bold decision while in Amsterdam, anxious that her husband has become bored with their marriage, but her actions threaten the cosy stability of their long union. I loved the inter-connected stories of this novel for their subtle yet powerful emotional punches.
- Nicola Kennedy, Bray
It is December in Belfast, Christmas is approaching and three sets of people are about to make their way to Amsterdam. Alan, a university art teacher stands watching the grey sky blacken waiting for George Best's funeral cortege to pass. He will go to Amsterdam to see Bob Dylan in concert but also in the aftermath of his divorce, in the hope that the city which once welcomed him as a young man and seemed to promise a better future, will reignite those sustaining memories. He doesn't yet know that his troubled teenage son Jack will accompany his pilgrimage. Karen is a single mother struggling to make ends meet by working in a care home and cleaning city centre offices. She is determined to give her daughter the best wedding that she can. But as she boards the plane with her daughter's hen party she will soon be shocked into questioning where her life of sacrifices has brought her. Meanwhile middle-aged couple, Marion and Richard are taking a break from running their garden centre to celebrate Marion's birthday.In Amsterdam, Marion's anxieties and insecurities about age, desire and motherhood come to the surface and lead her to make a decision that threatens to change the course of her marriage. As these people brush against each other in the squares, museums and parks of Amsterdam, their lives are transfigured as they encounter the complexities of love in a city that challenges what has gone before. Tender and humane, and elevating the ordinary to something timeless and important, The Light of Amsterdam is a novel of compassion and rare dignity.
The Light of Amsterdam looks destined to become an international literary bestseller with immense human appeal. Echoes of the great Brian Moore are evident as is a sensibility similar to that of the US master Richard Ford, but Park is more than merely a fine writer with a great deal to say - as if that were not sufficient. He is an astute storyteller whose vision is sustained by instinct, intelligent observation and a sense of responsibility. There is also a determination to perfect his art. He was never going to settle for being very good; he wanted much more and has certainly achieved it Eileen Battersby, Irish Times A stealthily affecting novel, this could well give more famous names a run for their Booker money GQ One of the shrewdest observers of the way we live now Independent As Park's cast arrives in Amsterdam ... the momentum of the trip and Park's tumbling, lyrical prose keep you turning the pages Daily Mail Like Jane Austen and EM Forster, Park sets his characters a moral examination ... Park never forgets that he is telling a story - or rather, several stories - but his method is dramatic ... The Light of Amsterdam is a very good novel indeed Allan Massie, Scotsman Their stories are woven together with warmth, compassion and great skill Kate Saunders, The Times Review Park's seventh novel is a complex study of relationships that sees him allow characters rather than themes to propel and intelligently realist narrative Irish Times Book of the Year A delicate exposition of the burden love brings. All Park's books have explored what it is to be human Irish Examiner