In a disused lighthouse on the Devon coast lives Peter Straker, a recluse who, in his dreams, is visited by an oddly disparate group of people from a grandmother to a teenager. But they have all been dead for 24 years -- and Straker thinks he killed them. Many years ago, newly-married Imogen Doody's husband went to work one day and never came ...
In a disused lighthouse on the Devon coast lives Peter Straker, a recluse who, in his dreams, is visited by an oddly disparate group of people from a grandmother to a teenager. But they have all been dead for 24 years -- and Straker thinks he killed them. Many years ago, newly-married Imogen Doody's husband went to work one day and never came back, leaving her angry at life and other people. Now Imogen has inherited a cottage near Straker's lighthouse, a piece of good fortune she badly needs. But the cottage is falling down, and she needs help restoring it...Guilt, emotional bruising and a Tiger Moth plane lie at the heart of this story of two misfits. Related with infectious warmth and wit, it is a testament to the essential goodness and resilience of the human spirit.
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Publishers Weekly, 2006-04-17 Grappling with larger-than-life issues of guilt, redemption and forgiveness, Morrall showcases the kind of quirky characters and improbable plotting that made her debut, Astonishing Splashes of Colour, a finalist for Britain's prestigious Booker Prize. Is a 50-something hermit, Peter Straker, responsible for the deaths of 78 people a quarter-century ago, when he crashed his small plane into a moving passenger train? The coroner ruled the crash an accident, but the details are hazy in Peter's memory, part of his former life as a drunken playboy. Eaten by guilt, Peter doesn't speak except to the 78 victims, who now live in his head: "There isn't room in his mind for anyone else." For two years, he has corresponded with the passengers' families under false pretenses, fueling his own guilt and inciting the families to seek him out for revenge. When morose, embittered Imogen Doody, a 40-ish school caretaker and writer, inherits a dilapidated cottage near the decommissioned lighthouse where Peter lives, Peter begins a tentative engagement with the world of the living, pursuing an unlikely relationship with her. Morrall is a deft guide through the landscape of grief, but her artistic prose can distance readers from her characters. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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