* An irresistible narrative of courage and endeavour. A story that captures nature at its most beautiful and most brutal and which unlocks the intricacies at the heart of human relationships.
Rob and Jamie are great friends from childhood. They have grown up together and become top climbers, but have since become estranged. Rob is nevertheless amazed and grief-stricken when he hears of Jamie's death after a fall on a relatively easy Welsh rockface.
The past, though, hides the secret clues behind the tragedy. Layer by layer Simon Mawer peels back what happened, going not only into the friends' childhoods but that of their parents - who were also intimate. And there is no escaping that past - vividly imagined scenes in the London of the Blitz reveal how through two generations Rob and Jamie and their respective parents have been addicted - to desire and the heady dangers of climbing.
Brilliantly structured as we move from past to present and back again, this novel will make Simon Mawer's literary reputation.
Wonderful and surprising. An absolute joy to read. Simon Mawer has entered the first rank of British novelists - Beryl Bainbridge
Simon Mawer's work is rich with a desire to see through to the core of things - OBSERVER
A haiku in ice . . . His narrative surges with an energy that thrusts the story forward to the very last page, from which a startling new light shines on all that has gone before - ECONOMIST
Simon Mawer has created an exemplary model of a satisfying read - NEW YORK TIMES
Simon Mawer was born in 1948 in England, and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus and in Malta. He then moved to Italy, where he and his family lived for more than thirty years, and taught at the British International School in Rome. He and his wife currently live in Hastings. Simon Mawer is the author of several novels including the Man Booker shortlisted The Glass Room, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and Tightrope.