Here We Are: A novel

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Here We Are. Several of the characters in this slim, elegant novel say at various points. It may be a statement of resignation or a declaration of delight or merely recognizing the obvious. It is also ironic since the novel moves back and forth in time, mostly centered on a trio.
In the present day, Eve, a widow of one year’s time after a marriage of half a century is still in mourning. She remembers the season in 1959 when she was a magician’s assistant with “Pablo”, stage name of Ronnie. And we travel to Ronnie’s youth, evacuated from London during World War II into a safe haven with a loving couple who taught him magic and that the world was much wider than his mother had pessimistically promised. As an adult, Ronnie met Jack who encouraged him to expand his act and then added him to the show of which Jack was “compere” (master of ceremonies).

Every voice in this novel is told masterfully; we “hear” what the characters think and say, each distinctive and enjoyable. Any reader who has experienced the theater firsthand will recognize the backstage drama, “its intricate and precarious webs of connection.” Anyone who has attended a magic show will admire how such a performance is rendered here—describing without revealing too much, never giving away the secrets of how the tricks are done.
“There was no magic for some things, it seemed. It couldn’t stop wars” and it can’t prevent heartbreak. At the same time, love is a kind of magic. It may not make rabbits or parrots appear or vanish but what powers it has! It may be the answer to a question raised early in this lovely novel: “How could you have had one life and then simply exchange it for another?”


Reviewed By:

Author Graham Swift
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 208 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date
ISBN 9780525658054
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category Popular Fiction
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