“Ali Smith has a beautiful mind. [Autumn is] unbearably moving in its playful, strange, soulful assessment of what it means to be alive at a somber time.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Just finished Autumn by Ali Smith, a novel that was shortlisted for this years Mann-Booker prize.

This is the story of Daniel Gluck, a very old man who is the neighbor of Elisabeth Demand and her Mom in England. When she meets Daniel, Elisabeth is a young girl who becomes very captivated by the old man next door.

Years later, when Daniel becomes very ill, Elisabeth will visit him constantly at the Hospital. It is here where the book jumps back and forth showing the development of their relationship, and about some of the life of Daniel Gluck.

Their relationship becomes one which would be expected with a grandparent and it is a very warm and touching story in many respects. We will read of actual historical events during the story, including the vote for Britain to join the European Union, and these events will be the backdrop to their growing closeness.

Beautifully written, sometimes in a poetic style at 260 pages it is a quick read especially as there is quite a bit of dialogue, and the book can easily be finished over a weekend.

This book is the first of a planned four books representing each season, but I believe will not be about the same characters.

Highly recommended.

 

Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 1st December 2017

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Richard Franco