Rebecca Wait’s breathtaking and haunting Our Fathers is published tomorrow by riverrun and we can’t wait to share it with you all. In the lead up to publication, the compelling novel that explores how a murder-suicide affects a community and the lone survivor of the traumatic event has garnered praise from authors and publications alike, and has been selected by Culturefly as one of 25 books to look forward to this year. Read below some of the great things people have to say about Our Fathers so far:
‘A deeply involving study of a controlling father and the devastation he wreaks. Wait evokes the isolated community where the violence unfolds with startling realism and compassion. Where does such a monstrous act begin? Where does it end? There are no easy answers, and Our Fathers does not offer them, instead keeping our focus on the humanity of those involved. A wise and moving novel.’
Polly Clarke, author of Larchfield and Tiger
‘With an immaculate sense of place and great compassion, Rebecca Wait reaches behind the headlines to tell a story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. Stark yet lyrical, subtly mysterious and always humane, Our Fathers is a novel that details the trauma that is left behind in the long, bleak aftermath of violence. I found it impossible to look away, or put it down.’
Nina Allan, author of The Good Neighbours
‘Our Fathers is a compelling and insightful exploration of the way the effects of an atrocity ripple out to affect an entire community. Wait has the gift of finding the universal truths in extreme events and making them live on the page. Precise, restrained and disarmingly funny, this novel beguiles, shocks and charms.’
Ann Morgan, author of Beside Myself
‘In clear and tight writing, this is the riveting story of a few moments of violence and the decades of impact that follows. The novels makes very human what would otherwise be a headline. This is a writer to watch.’
Audrey Schulman, author of Theory of Bastards
‘A wonderful novel.’
Jeff Noon, The Spectator
‘Rebecca Wait’s third novel is a story of fathers and sons, and of ordinary people unable to move on in the aftermath of inconceivable violence. It’s a haunting yet compassionate portrait of grief, trauma and the memories people try to forget.’
Natalie Xenos, Culture Fly ’2020 Fiction Preview: 25 books to look forward to reading this year’
The Irish Times, The Gloss
‘This is a beautifully realised novel, touching on the fallibility of memory and the unknowability of families, and gripping in its intensity. Outstanding.’
Simon Humphreys, The Mail on Sunday
‘An astonishingly powerful story of toxic masculinity, regret and the possibility of redemption’
Irish Country Magazine
‘Perceptive, generous exploration of… trauma’
What kind of man kills his own family?
When Tom was eight years old, his father took a shotgun and shot his family: his wife, his son and baby daughter, before turning the gun on himself. Only Tom survived.
He left his tiny, shocked community on the island of Litta and the strained silence of his Uncle Malcolm’s house while still a young boy. For twenty years he’s tried to escape his past. Until now.
Without knowing how to ask, he needs answers – from his uncle, who should have known. From his neighbours, who think his father a decent man who ‘just snapped’. From the memories that haunt the wild landscape of the Hebrides.
And from the silent ones who know more about what happened – and why – than they have ever dared admit.
By turns gripping, beautiful, devastating and tender, Our Fathers is a story about violence and redemption, control and love. With understated compassion and humour, Rebecca Wait gives a voice to the silenced and to the silences between men of few words.
Rebecca Wait graduated from Oxford University in 2010 with a first class degree in English. She’s been writing since she was a child and has won numerous prizes for short stories and plays. She lives in London.