Excerpt from Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Wish You Were Here

by Graham Swift

Wish You Were Here
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2012, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2013, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Which is why he’s up here, at this rain-lashed window, from where he has the best view of the narrow, twisting road, Beacon Hill, which has no other purpose these days than to lead to this cottage. So he’ll be alerted. So he’ll be able to see, just a little sooner than from downstairs, the dark-blue roof, above the high bank, then the nose of the Cherokee as it takes the first, tight, ascending bend, past the old chapel. The Cherokee that’s done so much hard journeying in these last three days.

The road below him, running with water, seems to slither.

Of course, she might not return at all. Another option, and one she might be seriously contemplating. Though where the hell else does she have to go to?

It’s all gone mad, Jack thinks, but part of him has never felt saner. Rain blurs the window, but he looks through it at the rows of buffeted caravans in the middle distance to the right, beyond the spur of land that slopes down beneath him to the low mass of the Head. All empty now, of course, for the winter.

“Well, Jack, at least this has happened in the off season.”

Ellie’s words, and just for a shameful instant it had been his own secret flicker of a thought as well.


He looks at the caravans and even now feels their tug, like the tug of the wind on their own thin, juddering frames. Thirty-two trembling units. To the left, the locked site office, the laundrette, the empty shop—grille down, window boarded. The gated entrance-way off the Sands End road, the sign above it swinging.

Even now, especially now, he feels the tug. The Lookout Caravan Park, named after this cottage (or two knocked into one), in turn named after its former use. He feels, himself now, like some desperate coastguard. Ellie had said they should change the name from the Sands. He’d said they should keep it, for the good will and the continuity. And so they had, for a year. But Ellie was all for them making their own mark and wiping out what was past. There must be no end of caravan sites called The Sands, she’d said, but the Lookout would stand out.

It could work two ways, he’d said, “Lookout”—attempting another of those solemn-faced jokes of the kind his father once made.

Ellie had shrugged. So, didn’t he like the name of the cottage? It wasn’t the name they’d given it, after all. Lookout Cottage (usually known as just “The Lookout”). They could always change the name of the cottage. Ellie was all for change. She was his wife now. She’d laughed—she’d changed her name to Luxton.

But they hadn’t. Perhaps they should have done. And before the new season began, for the sake of uniformity but also novelty, and because Ellie thought it sounded better than the Sands, the site had become, on the letterhead and the brochure and on the sign over the gate, as well as in plain fact, the Lookout Park.

And it was lookout time now all right.

Excerpted from Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift. Copyright © 2012 by Graham Swift. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood
    Bryn Greenwood's debut, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, is a harsh, raw, and ultimately, truthful...
  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Ashes of Fiery Weather
    by Kathleen Donohoe

    "Admirers of Pete Hamill and Kate Atkinson will appreciate this gripping novel." - Library Journal

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.