People come as well as go.
Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.
Two years ago, it ended.
Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to build a future from the fragments of the past.
Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.
As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn’t need to try.
Review: Edwin is my idea of a perfect character. I found in him a kindred soul. He is shy, he stutters and he is self-critical and unsure of himself. Perfectly flawed, as I like to say. He stole my heart. I mean, the man wears sparkly purple cowboy boots in a flood and tends to his elderly widowed neighbor (a hoot in her own right).
In contrast, Adam is a bit over-cocky but in a geeky sort of way. He knows all sorts of things about flooding and attempts to share them as a way to get closer to Edwin. He wears rain boots and teases Edwin with the 5,6,7,8 dance – a pop tune from 1998. (I’d never heard of it and had to look it up on the internet. It features a catchy tune and a line dance that’s incredibly easy to pick up.) But my favorite aspect of Adam? Aside from his quirky sense of humor, he didn’t give up. He kept trying to get close to Edwin and get to know him, popping up at all times and taking special care of him during the flood.
The writing in this story is so well done that I immediately picked up another book by the author and found that this story was no fluke – Hall is a talented writer. His characters are anyone you might meet at work, at the grocery store, at the library or anywhere else in your daily routine yet they have a quality that brings them off the page and makes them more than real. A truly wonderful read and I’m looking forward to reading more from Hall.
Favorite Quote: You don’t really fall in love with a house. You fall in love with the life you could have in it.