Ashland & Vine

Ashland & Vine

Summary

Kate, a grieving, semi-alcoholic film student, invites an elderly woman to take part in an oral-history documentary. Jean declines, but makes her a bizarre counter-offer: if Kate can stay sober for four days, she will tell her a story. If she can stay sober beyond that, there will be another, and then another, amounting to the entire history of one family’s life.

Gradually, Jean offers a heart-breaking account, not only of her own history – a lost lover, a family scarred by war – but of the American century itself; as a deep connection emerges between the women which will transform both of their lives.

Reviews

  • What does it mean to live with integrity in the United States of America? That is the question haunting John Burnside’s new novel… The way that Burnside layers these stories is masterful, and becomes a meditation on storytelling itself.
    Duncan White, Daily Telegraph

About the author

John Burnside

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