Patrick Gale’s novels grip tightly, like swaddling clothes, stunning the reader into a state of lolling, contented absorption. How does he do it?… Overall the novel suggests that, although happy endings may unravel, our existence is worth having, that we should be of good cheer. No wonder Gale’s work is so mesmerizing, enfolding us while we are reading it in a well-woven
comfort blanket.

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