Canvey Island

The story of post-war Britain, from the Canvey Island floods of 1953 to the onset of Thatcherism and beyond, told through the life of a single family.

This is a novel about family secrets. How much do we need to know about our parents lives, and how much do we really want to find out? By the same turn, how much do we want our children to know about us?

Perhaps a family needs its secrets?

It is also a novel about Britain and the changes it has seen since the last world war; how expectations have been met or thwarted, how personal lives have become more open and confessional, how families have become fragmented and confused.

It’s a family story, a condition of Britain novel, and a book about marriage and children.

It’s about love, faith and redemption.

And it also has jokes.

I know the fear of death is always with us but sometimes it can disappear for days. You don’t think about it when your wife is coming to bed and she takes off her nightgown and you’re excited by her nakedness even if you have been married for a long time. You don’t think about it when your child gives you a smile that you know is meant only for you or when the sea is dead calm and you’re out fishing with no one to trouble you. You don’t think about death, of course you don’t, it never crosses your mind, but then back it comes, far too soon, telling you not to be so cocky, don’t think this is going to last mate, this is all the happiness you’re going to get and you should be grateful I didn’t come before.