31 March, 2013
A Month in the Country by JL Carr (1980)
This is a beautiful little book. Set in 1920, Tom Birkin has returned to England after WWI with a twitch and stammer to find his wife gone, so takes a job up in Yorkshire uncovering a medieval mural in a village church. He strikes up a friendship with a fellow veteran doing archaeological work in the churchyard and slowly integrates into the minutiae of village life, falling in love with the dour vicar's young wife along the way. Carr was almost 70 when he wrote this, and it shows. It feels long-distilled and the ending is wise, understated and magnificent.