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Winner of the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award
In 1956, towards the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son:
'I told you last night that I might be gone sometime . . . you reached up and put your fingers on my lips and gave me that look I never in my life saw on any other face besides your mother's. It's a kind of furious pride, very passionate and stern. I'm always a little surprised to find my eyebrows unsinged after I've suffered one of those looks. I will miss them.'
'A visionary work of dazzling originality' Robert McCrum, Observer
'Writing of this quality, with an authority as unforced as the perfect pitch in music, is rare and carries with it a sense almost of danger' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
'It is difficult not to be awed, moved and ultimately humbled' Neel Mukherjee, The Times
'A great work of literature' John de Falbe, Daily Telegraph
Chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the top six novels of the year