May, 1940. Brighton.
On Park Crescent, a sunlit and usually tranquil street, Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son, Philip, anxiously await news. The enemy is expected to land on the beaches of Brighton any day.
It is a year of tension, change, and anticipation. Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp at the far reaches of town, while young Philip is gripped by rumours that Hitler will make Brighton's Royal Pavilion his English HQ and spends hours with his friends imagining life in Brighton under Hitler's rule. And as the rumours continue to fly and the days tick on, Evelyn quietly struggles to fall in with the war effort and her thoughts become tinged with a mounting, indefinable desperation.
Then she meets Otto Gottlieb, a 'degenerate' German-Jewish painter and prisoner in her husband's internment camp. As Europe crumbles, Evelyn's and Otto's mutual distrust slowly begins to change into something else, which will shatter the structures on which her life, her family and her community rest. Love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, and the lives of Evelyn, Otto and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably.
About the Author
Alison MacLeod was raised in Canada and has lived in England since 1987. She is the author of three novels, The Changeling, The Wave Theory of Angels and Unexploded, and of a collection of stories, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction. Unexploded was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2013. She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at Chichester University and lives in Brighton.
Unexploded is an unforgettable book. With exquisitely researched and rendered detail, the author plunges us into the panic and paranoia of war, fusing international politics, national politics and family politics in her powerful study of hypocrisy, oppression, cultural misunderstanding and desire -- Bidisha Love, fear and prejudice are all skilfully anatomised in this compellingly intimate exploration of life in war time Brighton Jane Rogers Finely wrought, moving and haunting. What a wonderful novel this is. Bravo Alison MacLeod -- Polly Samson A persuasive period setting, an intricate plot, sumptuous prose Daily Telegraph An exploration of the xenophobia and neurosis unleashed in times of national crisis ... MacLeod remains one of the most astute chaoticians writing today Guardian Compelling, fast-paced, powerful. The descriptions of wartime Brighton are pin-sharp ... the denouement is as heartrending as it is unexpected Financial Times An intelligent, perceptive novel by a writer of great descriptive power ... Like her modernist forebears, MacLeod knows that life and death, the terrible and the mundane always co-exist - her genius lies in illustrating these truths while simultaneously spinning a bona fide pageturner Daily Mail
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 26th July 2013
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.1 x 3.3
Weight (kg): 24.4
Edition Number: 1