your father sends his love by Stuart Evers. Book Review
your father sends his love is a collection of twelve stories that explore the complex relationships between children and their parents. What emerges from Stuart Evers writing does indeed capture this complexity in all its different shades and colours.
There is the vengeance wreaked by a father on behalf of his son, with an appalling twist in the plot. There is also gentleness, as a grandparent coaxes his technology-addicted granddaughter into using text the old-fashioned way, by writing letters. Another story begins with an abstract set of observations that are very entertaining, but only make sense when the character is joined by an old friend at a bar. Although my favourite is about a father coping on his own, trying to get his infant son to sleep for the night, and the phone conversation he has with his wife who is away with work. It is a story filled with love, depicted through actions and spot-on dialogue. Yet there is also a very wry wit at work, because the wife rings her husband to check up on how things are going at a key point in a horror film her husband is watching for relaxation, once his son is tucked up safely in bed. The juxtaposition between this and the previous demonstration of aching love this man has for his son, and the evident warm, closeness he enjoys with his wife, is just one of the many brilliant techniques that take these stories beyond a clever description of the mundane.
Often changes in a location over a period of time reflect the inner landscape of a particular character’s life. It is these subtle subtexts that quietly notch up the reader’s emotional engagement and appreciation of how the character is processing life.
Evers is an author who can write in a way that makes you consider how many words novelists could shed from their word count if they really put their minds to it, because these are tales that speak volumes, enabling you to lose yourself as effectively as you would in a 100,000 word book.
This is one to buy and keep so you can return to it and marvel at the artistry of the writer.
your father sends his love was courtesy of Pan Macmillan via NetGalley