In this intriguing second novel, three men from different centuries spend portions of their lives near a piece of land overlooking Sydney Harbor.
William Dawes, an English astronomer in the 1780s, sails to Australia to document the stars and study the new species of flora and fauna. Ted Parker, a bridge worker in the 1930s, witnesses the miraculous rescue of a man who falls off a bridge into Sydney Harbor. In the present day, banker Dan Kopek flies from London back to his childhood home in Sydney as the man he calls Gramps nears death. Despite living in different times, there is an indefinable, curious connection among the three men. There are rich characters and relationships in each man’s story; there are experiences of love and loss, of desires fulfilled...or not. Throughout, there’s a slippery feeling that time and place are not fixed in linear fashion but rather stacked from the top down—future on top of present on top of past—and the men can see down to the past and up to the future through tiny gaps in the clouds. William, Ted, and Dan are left to wonder at the sense that they are just missing something out of the corners of their eyes. Hay (The Railwayman’s Wife, 2016, etc.) meanders a bit, pulling readers along with the promise that there will be a connection made. And there is. This skillfully written tale weaves back and forth between characters, revealing a hint of the connection of humanity through the ages.
A finely woven tapestry of poetic language and subtle symbols, intertwined dreams, hopes, and visions, and a sense of seeing through cracks—perhaps to an eternity where time is no more and all is known. Thought-provoking.