In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household across the street is in upheaval: convinced that his wife is having an affair, Malcolm Glover has suddenly disappeared. The reverberations of this rupture will echo through the years to come as the connection between the families deepens. But it will be the particular crises of ten-year-old Tim Glover—set off by two seemingly inconsequential but ultimately indelible acts of cruelty—that will erupt, full-blown, two decades later in a shocking conclusion.
Expansive and deeply felt, The Northern Clemency shows Philip Hensher to be one of our most masterly chroniclers of modern life, and a storyteller of virtuosic gifts.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Northern Clemency|
|Release Date: 10-22-2008|
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|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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The Northern Clemency
“I wouldn’t say all,” Mrs. Arbuthnot said. “I would have said it was only the Glovers’ children.”
“All of them?” Mrs. Warner—Karen, now—said. “The girl seems so quiet. It’s the elder boy, really.”
“I’ve seen the girl going in there too,” Mrs. Arbuthnot said. “It’s during the day with her. She’s on her own generally. I grant you, it’s the older boy who goes in after dark, and he’s got people with him. Girls, one at a time. There’ll be trouble with both those boys.”
“But, Mrs. . . .” Mr. Warner said. He was slow to catch people’s names.
“Call me Anthea,” Mrs. Arbuthnot said. “Now that we’ve finally met.”
“I mean, Anthea,” Mr. Warner said, “why doesn’t anyone tell the parents? They surely can’t know.”
“That I don’t understand,” Mrs. Arbuthnot said. She was stately, forty-six, divorced, at number ninety-three, almost opposite the empty house. “This isn’t the best opportunity, I dare say.”
They were at the Glovers’. It was a party; the neighbourhood had been invited. Most had been puzzled by the invitation, knowing the couple and their three children only by sight. Mrs. Arbuthnot and Mrs. Warner had passed the time of day on occasion. They had arrived more or less at the same time; both had the habit, at a party, of moving swiftly to the back wall the better to watch arrivals. They had ma...