Until I Find You is the story of the actor Jack Burns. His mother, Alice, is a Toronto tattoo artist. His father, William, is an Edinburgh organist who is addicted to being tattooed. When Jack is four, he travels with Alice to several North Sea ports - Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, and Amsterdam, in search of his father, who is missing. ...
Until I Find You is the story of the actor Jack Burns. His mother, Alice, is a Toronto tattoo artist. His father, William, is an Edinburgh organist who is addicted to being tattooed. When Jack is four, he travels with Alice to several North Sea ports - Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, and Amsterdam, in search of his father, who is missing. But Alice is a mystery, and William can't be found. Even Jack's memories are subject to doubt. Jack Burns goes to schools in Canada and New England, but what shapes him are his relationships with older women. Mr Irving renders Jack's life as an actor in Hollywood with the same richness of detail and range of emotions he uses to describe the tattoo parlours in those North Sea ports and the reverberating music Jack heard as a child in European churches.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-06-06 Actor Jack Burns seeks a sense of identity and father figures while accommodating a host of overbearing and elaborately dysfunctional women in Irving's latest sprawling novel (after The Fourth Hand). At the novel's onset (in 1969), four-year-old Jack is dragged by his mother, Alice, a Toronto-based tattoo artist, on a year-long search throughout northern Europe for William Burns, Jack's runaway father, a church organist and "ink addict." Back in Toronto, Alice enrolls Jack at the all-girls school St. Hilda's, where she mistakenly thinks he'll be "safe among the girls"; he later transfers to Redding, an all-boy's prep school in Maine. Jack survives a childhood remarkable for its relentless onslaught of sexual molestation at the hands of older girls and women to become a world-famous actor and Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Eventually, he retraces his childhood steps across Europe, in search of the truth about his father-a quest that also emerges as a journey toward normalcy. Though the incessant, graphic sexual abuse becomes gratuitous, Irving handles the novel's less seedy elements superbly: the earthy camaraderie of the tattoo parlors, the Hollywood glitz, Jack's developing emotional authenticity, his discovery of a half-sister and a moving reunion with his father. Agent, Janet Turnbull Irving. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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