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Our Fathers: Book summary and reviews of Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait

Our Fathers

by Rebecca Wait

Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait X
Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2020
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Nobody knows why John Baird, a quiet family man, decided one day to pick up a shotgun and murder his wife and children. On the remote Scottish island of Skellag, violent crime is unheard of, and the killings sent shockwaves through this tiny community in which the Bairds were well-known and liked.

Tommy, the only survivor of the terrible crime, has returned to Skellag many years later. Faced with this reminder of the horrors that took place amongst them, the community must ask themselves again how much responsibility we have to know our neighbors. What drives a man to murder his own family? And to what extent is Tommy his father's son?

With unflinching candor and powerful prose, Rebecca Wait interrogates the damaging legacy of toxic masculinity for a family and a community. Brave and urgent, Our Fathers shows how deeply family can wound and how it can offer our greatest solace.

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Reviews

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"Memory, masculinity, and survivor's guilt are picked apart as the novel treads its path, dodging sensationalism and easy resolutions while evoking haunted, inarticulate people in a relentless landscape. A piercing, vivid, and humane story depicting the long aftermath of extreme domestic violence." - Kirkus Reviews

"[T]houghtful and wrenching... Wait builds tension through cyclical repetition of the characters' ruminations as they try to undo the past while revealing more of their own part in what happened. Fans of Patrick McCabe and Jon McGregor will appreciate Wait's melancholic snapshot." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a beautifully realised novel, touching on the fallibility of memory and the unknowability of families, and gripping in its intensity. Outstanding." - Daily Mail (UK)

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Author Information

Rebecca Wait

Rebecca Wait grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside and read English at Oxford University. She is the author of prize-winning short stories and plays, as well as critically acclaimed novels The View on the Way Down (2013) and The Followers (2017). She writes and teaches in London.

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