I was a big fan of Peter Ferry’s first novel, Travel Writing— it’s mystery and cleverness and emotion– so I was excited to hear he had another novel out in the world.
Now I have just finished Old Heart, and I have to say that as much as I enjoyed Travel Writing, Old Heart really took hold of me. It’s just an absolutely lovely story that manages to, by telling the tale of this one man and his family and his love, get at the very stuff of life. And it’s touching and sentimental but not saccharine or maudlin or any of those words or notions.
I finished it late one night by a tiny clip light as my wife slept, and by the time I got to the final page, there I was, weeping in the near dark of my room from the beauty and sadness of it all, my wife sleeping snug beside me, and it all seemed a bit silly but also perfect. I can’t remember the last time I responded to a book quite so viscerally, and I couldn’t recommend it more. It is a novel that deserves to be read, and I think readers deserve to read it.
When I think of Old Heart in terms of music, for some reason the first artist to pop into my head is Richard Thompson, so here’s one Thompson wrote for the second album by the great Fairport Convention, What We Did on Our Holidays. It feels appropriate.