4th Estate, 2007
Edgar was neither hard-bitten nor hard-boiled. He hadn’t seen too much – he’d hardly seen anything at all – and he was bursting, overflowing, with inaccessible juvenile potency. No one would suspect him of a dangerous agenda. But he could not drive a car. And he still needed permission to stay out past suppertime.
Edgar Pagan, nearly thirteen, detests his English mother’s new boyfriend, so when she takes her son away from him across the Atlantic to spend time with his American father, it is a relief and a new adventure for him. He is an unlikely detective, Edgar, but that is what he becomes at the Pagan house, home to his grandmother Fay, and again some years later when he sets down on paper the Pagan past, in particular the peculiar circumstances of his father’s Christian socialist ancestors in the nineteenth century, who abolished marriage and intended to abolish death. It is‘the story of how I came to be me.’
‘sheer joy… the historical segments attain a texture and beauty that’s hauntingly uncontemporary’
Tim Martin, The Daily Telegraph
‘madly brilliant, hilarious and sometimes tender portrait of adolescent angst’
John Harding, The Daily Mail