Italy in the early 1960s: A dying painter considers the sacrifices and losses that have made him an enigma, both to strangers and those closest to him. He begins his last life painting, using the same objects he has painted obsessively for his entire career - a small group of bottles.
In Cumbria thirty years later, a landscape artist - and admirer of the Italian recluse - finds himself trapped in the extreme terrain that has made him famous.
And in present-day London, his daughter, an art curator struggling with the sudden loss of her twin brother while trying to curate an exhibition about the lives of the twentieth-century European masters, is drawn into a world of darkness and sexual abandon.
Covering half a century, this is a luminous and searching audiobook, and Hall's most accomplished work to date.
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Mmmmm ... polished enough but empty I think
I think this book lacks a vital spark that transforms good enough writing into something of real value. It is good as far as it goes. Though that is not to say very much in this case. The characters have some life but are altogether recognisable as stock figures clipped from a catalogue of possibilities. They are none of them much more puppets, lifelike but lifeless all the same.