• "He writes with impressive directness and simplicity at moments of passion-One is aware of the compassionate intelligence that is discreetly but continuously at work in this book"

    Sebastian Faulks, Independent
  • "'Colin Thubron's voice is unique'"

    Anita Brookner, Spectator
  • "Impeccably crafted and beautifully written-many books which are highly enjoyable in the reading leave no imprint on the imagination. This one does"

    P. D. James, Daily Telegraph
  • "Mark Swabey, a provincial journalist, is serving a prison sentence in connection with the death of Clara the Swallow, a circus acrobat with whom he fell in love. And the grief-stricken Swabey looks back on their brief affair, the exact nature of his responsibility for Clara's death is movingly revealed-every sentence is informed by the most intense anguish'"

    Michael Dibdin, Observer
  • "Thubron weaves a skilful, poignant story of love and loss, and also reinvents the myth of the Fall-This novel is above all celebratory. It trumpets the right to walk out on the high wire, to love dangerously and hopelessly - even if death (real or metaphorical) is the price"

    Bel Mooney, Sunday Times