The Light of Amsterdam
By David Park
(Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781608197026, 384pp.)
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
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It is December; Christmas is approaching and the magic of one of Europe's most beautiful cities beckons. A father looks for himself in the past, struggling to deal with a recent divorce, his teenage son in tow. A single, selfless mother accompanies her only daughter and friends for a weekend-long bachelorette party. And a husband treats his wife to a birthday weekend away, somehow heightening her anxieties and insecurities about age, desire, and motherhood.
During their brief stay in the city, the confusions and contradictions inherent in their relationships assert themselves in unexpected ways, forcing each couple into a sometimes painful reassessment and a new awareness of the price that love demands. As these people brush against each other in the squares, museums, and parks of Amsterdam, their lives are transfigured in the winter light as they encounter the complexities of love in a city that challenges what has gone before. Tender and humane, elevating the ordinary to something timeless and important, The Light of Amsterdam is a novel of compassion and rare dignity.
David Park has written seven books, most recently the hugely acclaimed The Truth Commissioner. He was the winner of the Authors' Club First Novel Award, and the Bass Ireland Arts Award for Literature, and three-time winner of the University of Ulster's McCrea Literary Award. He has twice been shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year Award. He lives in County Down, Northern Ireland, with his wife and two children.
"This is a novel about people, about feelings, thoughts, and struggles, and Park does an excellent job of developing the characters and making the reader care about them...a humane and touching read."--The Library Journal "Remarkable...At once an amalgam of sensitive character studies, Park's newest is also a gorgeous portrait of the Venice of the North."--Publishers Weekly "Poetic, hopeful."--O Magazine "A humane and deeply empathetic writer, Park turns the most ordinary of interactions into a moving story of people's greatest hopes and fears."--Booklist