Mr B's review
If a novel can ever be perfect, The Offing is it. Set just after WWII, it is the tale of one teenage boy’s coming-of-age summer, his discovery of poetry, his deep love of nature, and his beautiful blossoming friendship with the lonely, romantic Dulcie. Myers is one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary voices and he has conjured an exquisite, beautiful novel that will appeal to fans of Laurie Lee and JL Carr. – Tom M. at Mr. B’s
‘What a radical thing, these days, to have written a book so full of warmth and kindness … Gorgeous’
Max Porter, author of Lanny
A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick
A BBC Radio 4 ‘Book at Bedtime’
An Observer Pick for 2019
One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. Sixteen and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea.
Staying with Dulcie, Robert’s life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures.
This quiet, lyrical novel confirms a powerful new voice * THE TIMES * This is a poetic book with a winning generosity of spirit, moving from a folksy celebration of the rural north to a revelation of the broader horizons that can come from reading and some serious culture * SUNDAY TIMES * It’s a poignant story, and Myers’ descriptions of the countryside are wonderful * MAIL ON SUNDAY * One of the most interesting, restless writers of his generation … Unfurling at the unhurried pace of a fern, it’s an evocatively lyrical paean to the countryside – deeply felt and closely observed * DAILY MAIL * What a radical thing, these days, to have written a book so full of warmth and kindness. Two complaints: it made me hungry, especially their first meal. It made me want to swim so badly. It’s gorgeous — MAX PORTER A keenly observed and heartfelt appreciation of landscape and place * HERALD * Glorious … Leaves an indelible impression … A moving and subtle novel in many ways, infused with a love of the minute pleasures in life, and the lasting regrets * SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY * Imbued with all the evocative rhythms of the passing seasons. This is what folk music would look like if it came in the written form * THE CRACK * Book by book, over the past decade, Ben Myers has proved himself to be one of the most singular, moving and crucial voices of our times, making The Offing one of the must-read books of the year — DAVID PEACE It reminds me of a time when David Bowie could serve up something new with almost every album … the book portrays an uncanny feminine touch and though the trip is gentle, there are deep undercurrents in this heart of a new rural darkness * CAUGHT BY THE RIVER * A tender, tragic but warming story of love and living amid the flux of time, the sea and the seasons, The Offing is both beautiful and beautifully told. Through its pages, Myers carefully and thoughtfully reaffirms the values and riches of human connection, freedom and the joy of living on your own terms — ROB COWEN, award-winning author of Common Ground A gorgeous summer song of a book, quietly and precisely what the world needs, calling friendship and gentleness from people, place and language, The Offing is about the best of us. It is to be treasured and passed on — HORATIO CLARE Intense and evocative * OBSERVER, Picks for 2019 * Ben Myers once again writes a rich backdrop of the natural world for this deeply tender, timely and necessary story about the power of relationships across the boundaries of age, class and gender. Everyone reading this book of hope will wish that at sixteen they too had met a Dulcie Piper — LUKE TURNER Beautiful and evocative landscape writing, as you’d expect, but also a sensitive exploration of love, growing up, friendship and becoming an artist. Dulcie Piper is one of the best characters I’ve read in ages and I already miss her — JENN ASHWORTH
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