This is an intensely personal book. Gale was inspired by a true tale from his own family history, and the depth of feeling shows. It's one gay man reaching out to another across a century of social change, and his most powerfully moving novel yet
A gorgeously written, bittersweet story about secrets and identity
[A] fascinating novel
Patrick Gale has written a book which manages to be both tender and epic, and carries the unmistakeable tang of a true story. I loved it.
Absorbing, moving and beautifully written, with echoes of EM Forster which I found especially enjoyable.
Beautifully structured around the warmest of warm hearts, but it's also run through with something new: a devastating chill of loss, fear and exile which keeps you shaking your head and biting your lip in concern and shame and disbelief.
Bold, moving, intensely erotic - I couldn't put down this tale of passion and endurance, told with such tenderness.
A dramatic and affecting portrayal of dislocation, extreme environments and the traumatic effects of enforced secrecy
A master storyteller. Quite simply, you believe every word he tells you
His best book yet
A tender tale of loss and love
Gale is not a sentimental writer, he's vividly aware of hardship and despair, but the overwhelming emotion in this fine book is one of tender, life-affirming joy
This is a convincing and fascinating portrait of daily life over a century ago in a far away place. The mixture of adventure, historical saga and romance is utterly heartwrenching
Gale is a skilful storyteller
Mr Gale often uses autobiographical detail to good effect; here, he has excelled himself with the historical detail, resulting in a beautifully written, satisfying story that deserves to be a bestseller
A mesmerising storyteller; this novel is written with intelligence and warmth
Gale employs his gift as a writer to will such pockets of tolerance retrospectively into existence - for the sake of his relative, as well, perhaps, as for all of us. Humanity does not look quite so wretched through Patrick Gale's eyes
Lightness of touch, one of Gale's characters observes, is desirable in a novelist, and it is one of Gale's virtues...Rich in atmosphere and period detail...this enjoyable tale is both witty and poignant
Be inspired by Patrick Gale's entrée to historical fiction... the deep undercurrents of love and desire that give the novel its pull will awaken you
An epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking
A gripping and deeply moving book about love, fear and hope