From the bestselling, prize-winning author of Golden Hill, a novel of the miraculous, the everlasting and the everyday.
November 1944. A German rocket incinerates a South London household goods store and five young lives are atomised in an instant. A tragedy. But what is lost is not just the children’s present existence. It’s all the futures they won’t get to have. All the would-be’s, might-be’s and could-be’s of the decades to come. Light Perpetual lets run an alternative reel of time, resurrecting five souls to live through the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the bustling immensity of twentieth-century London. Ingenious and profound, full of warmth and beauty, it is a sweeping and intimate celebration of the gift of life.
Francis Spufford’s debut novel, Golden Hill, won the Costa First Novel Award, the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His non-fiction includes Red Plenty, I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination and a memoir, The Child That Books Built. He teaches at Goldsmiths College.
The novel's overarching feat is to resurrect with marvellous vitality not just its central five figures, but six transformative decades of London life. - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times
The Woolworths has a new delivery of aluminum saucepans, and a crowd has gathered to see the first new metal in a long time. Everything else has been melted down for the war effort.
An instant later, the crowd is gone.
The Soviet Union was founded on a fairytale. It was built on 20th-century magic called 'the planned economy', which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the penny-pinching lands of capitalism could never match. This book is about that moment in history, and how it came and went away.
New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan Island. 1746. One rainy evening, a charming young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting house on Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition - he has an order for a thousand pounds in his pocket that he wishes to cash. But can he be trusted?