What an unusual, and wonderful, book! This book is a tapestry of a day in the life of a neighborhood, a day seen from many perspectives, with the richness of humanity played out in numerous vignettes - a day rushing towards an undelible, unanticipated climax. The story centers around two of the young adults in the neighborhood, and weaves between the story of that day, and the story of the girl's life three years later.
You don't need to diagram the neighborhood and keep a scorecard of the neighbors, although initially it seems inevitable. Before long they will all have their unique characteristics and backstories, and you won't have a problem telling who's who.
Beautifully written. Read it for the language.
Risky in conception, hip and yet soulful, this is a prose poem of a novel -- intense, lyrical, and highly evocative -- with a mystery at its center, which keeps the reader in suspense until the final page. In a tour de force that could be described as Altmanesque, we are invited into the private lives of the residents of a quiet urban street in England over the course of a single day. In delicate, intricately observed closeup, we witness the hopes, fears, and unspoken despairs of a diverse community: the man with painfully scarred hands who tried in vain to save his wife from a burning house and who must now care for his young daughter alone; a group of young clubgoers just home from an all-night rave, sweetly high and mulling over vague dreams; the nervous young man at number 18 who collects weird urban junk and is haunted by the specter of unrequited love. The tranquillity of the street is shattered at day's end when a terrible accident occurs. This tragedy and an utterly surprising twist provide the momentum for the book. But it is the author's exquisite rendering of the ordinary, the everyday, that gives this novel its freshness, its sense of beauty, wonder, and hope. Rarely does a writer appear with so much music and poetry -- so much vision -- that he can make the world seem new.
I found this book very haunting and compelling!
Interesting writing style and premise but unfortunately the story is boring and predictable.