Ancient Light - John Banville

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'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.'

Alexander Cleave, an actor who thinks his best days are behind him, remembers his first unlikely affair as a teenage boy in a small town in 1950s Ireland: the illicit meetings in a rundown cottage outside town; assignations in the back of his lover's car on sunny mornings and rain-soaked afternoons. And with these early memories comes something sharper and much darker - the more recent recollection of the actor's own daughter's suicide ten years before.

Ancient Light is the story of a life rendered brilliantly vivid: the obsession and selfishness of young love and the terrifying shock of grief. It is a dazzling novel, funny, utterly pleasurable and devastatingly moving in the same moment.

'Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death' Financial Times

'Banville perfectly captures the spirit of adolescence. A luminous, breathtaking work' Independent on Sunday

'Startlingly brilliant. Terrific - full of sadness and yearning' Sunday Telegraph