**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018**
An elegiac novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient
It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women all who seem determined to protect Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel journeys through recollection, reality and imagination to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, to piece together a story that feels something like the truth.
‘A novel of shadowy brilliance’ The Times
‘Fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself, written in the visionary language of memory’ Observer
‘Ondaatje brilliantly threads the mysteries and disguises and tangled loyalties and personal yearnings of the secret world... I haven’t read a better novel this year’ Telegraph
Our book of the year – and maybe of Ondaatje's career.
Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight is a rare and beautiful thing – a deeply retrospective novel about war secrets that feels neither overstated nor overly ethereal. In sumptuous prose, Ondaatje limns the psyche of a man still trying to make sense of his complicated relationships and the mysteries surrounding his absent parents. One of the most absorbing books I’ve read all year.
Warlight sucked me in deeper than any novel I can remember… fiction as rich, as beautiful, as melancholy as life itself.
From the very first sentence you’re desperate to find out what happens next… All is slowly, tantalisingly revealed, in flashbacks, fragments, digressions and stories within stories, narrated in majestic Ondaatjean style.
In Warlight we have a writer who knows exactly what he’s doing – and has constructed something of real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness. I haven’t read a better novel this year.
As the days grow shorter and the air colder, we asked the team to reflect on their favourite books from the year. From literary giants to perspective changing non-fiction, here are the books that will feature in our Christmases this year.