Following on from his previous novel, Sleeps With Butterflies, evoking the manifold themes and compelling rural French atmosphere of its predecessor, The Living Return tells the story of Marc.
Still recovering from his ruined marriage and the tragic death of his estranged brother, Marc attempts to build a new life in the south of France with his young son. However, he soon finds himself being attacked from another, far too personal front. A moving depiction of loss, pain, family and life's dramas, The Living Return is a beautifully crafted portrait of optimism and the endurance of the human spirit.
'I'm not like the other boys that you've known
But I believe I'm worth coming home to
Kiss away the night
... ...because this one sleeps only with the butterflies
... ...so go on and just fly'
Marc’s life is has hit a pause button. A marriage is ending. His relationships with his children are practically non-existent. He lives for his work as a writer. But then out of the blue a letter from his estranged brother arrives. A key to a house in a remote part of France can be his if he wants. A chance to escape, to think, to re-set his life.
But what he finds changes his life forever.
Set in one of the last great villas on the French Riviera, in cosmopolitan London, and in the home of a landed German family within the shadow of the wall, Sad Confetti is a heart-felt tale of mature and immature love. A small group of people come together by chance, link, hold, and finally break away. The elegant well-born English hosts, the fabulous Betty and husband, army-mad military historian Archie. Both ageing, aware, alone, vulnerable, dissatisfied.
The young visitors Liza, a cabaret crooner, trying to distance herself away from her German heritage. And Lee, who had worked as a model for publications of a dubious nature. Both desperately in love, both eagerly exploring, both drifting their way together.
But there are secrets. There are always secrets.
All are caught up in the potent chemistry of their meeting as the mid-summer picnic ends, leaves fall, the yacht sails away and the garden voices fade.
Sunsets Etc is a glimpse into the life of an actor as he settles into a new home and his retirement phase. A place to escape from everything. Rooms to walk around in. A garden to sit in. To think. To wait. But to wait for what?
Of course none of this happens. Memories come alive, his ghosts cannot escape and so he revisits the past.
A beautiful friendship.
The disheartening banal conversations with his parents resulting in a sudden realization that probably not all was what it appeared to be.
Snippets of a forgotten love spoken in hush tones here and there.
The fading roar of a director.
His two patchwork women.
A step back into his acting life.
Death. Decline. A sunset. A sunrise.
'And watching lovers part, I breathe and feel you smiling. What memories we share lie so deep in your mind. To tear out from your eyes I won’t speak of forbidden lies. I'll keep watching as you leave me further behind'
A middle-aged author of elite fiction watches a film adaptation of his first book and is immediately enraptured by the young actor in the leading role. Captivated and, increasingly, consumed: he discovers more about the person, his life, finds old photographs, kisses them – and more.
Eventually, his mania takes him to a meeting and a pathetically awful denouement.
Everything Could Be So Perfect is an engaging study of an obsession bordering on madness.
Not the extinguishing of the light but the putting out of the lamp, because the dawn has come.
Beautiful Deconstruction sees people come to terms with the past, make peace with inner demons and learn to say goodbye to loved ones. A story of love, of loss and time. In short, what it feels like to grow older.
'I learned very early on in my life that nothing was for ever; so I should have been aware of disillusion in early middle age: but, somehow, we try to obliterate early warnings and go cantering along hopefully, idiotically.'
Beautiful Deconstruction charts the disintegration of the idyll between Douglas and Anthony as they leave their retreat in France and return full circle for an uncertain future in London.