A stunningly incisive and poignant novel about family, duty and the challenging world of the mind.
Joan McAllistair is about to embark on the 'Trip of a Lifetime' with her daughter Eloise; a journey back to her childhood South Africa and the family homestead in the old Boer Republic of the Orange Free State.
For Eloise, the trip is partly a gift, partly a means of assuaging her guilt at moving her mother into a care home. For Joan, the discovery of her grandmother's journal transports her to the troubled times of the Anglo-Boer war. Eloise, in the meantime, has gambled her business's entire fortune on a promise made by an old lover.
As their stories unravel, Joan takes increasing refuge in the landscape of her mind - in journeys to her own past. She also finds an unexpected friend in a lonely teenager who shares her fascination with history.
Mason is surprisingly good at portraying female characters. A sympathetic and earnest book, its treatment of ageing and dementia are particularly illuminating. - The Age
The strands of this compelling story are woven with dexterity. Although The Lighted Rooms seems to end too quickly, it continues to haunt. - Courier-Mail
Richard Mason was born in South Africa in 1978 to activist parents who settled in England when he was ten. Brought up and educated in Britain he wrote his first novel, THE DROWNING PEOPLE, before going to Oxford. In the intervening years, Richard finished his degree, then set up an educational charity in memory of his sister Kay. The Kay Mason Foundation provides scholarships to disadvantaged South African children, paying for them to attend some of the country's best schools.