ISBN 9780224096331,All is Song

All is Song


Jonathan Cape



Jonathan Cape

Publication Year 2012

ISBN 9780224096331

ISBN-10 0224096338


Number of Pages 320 Pages
Language (English)

General & literary fiction

It is late summer in London. Leonard Deppling returns to the capital from Scotland, where he has spent the past year nursing his dying father. Missing from the funeral was his younger brother William, who lives in the north of the city with his wife and two young sons. Leonard is alone, and rootless - separated from his partner, and on an extended sabbatical from work. He moves in with William, hoping to renew their friendship, and to unite their now diminished family.

William is a former lecturer and activist - serious, defiantly unworldly and forever questioning - a man who believes that happiness and freedom come only from knowing oneself, and who spends his life examining the extent of his ignorance: running informal meetings and symposiums with ex-students and local residents.

Leonard realises he must once again drop his expectations about the norms of brotherhood and return to the 'island of understanding' the two have shared for so long. As the summer progresses he is able to observe William and his strange life, and comes to share the anxieties of his late father, and of William's wife, that his behaviour will lead to disaster -- as it nearly did many years before.

But it seems William has already set his own fate in motion, when news comes of a young student who has followed one of his arguments to a shocking conclusion. Rather than submit, William embraces the danger in the only way he knows how - a decision which threatens to consume not only himself, but his entire family.

Set against the backdrop of growing national unrest, tabloid frenzies and an escalating fuel crisis, All Is Song is a novel about filial and moral duty, and about the choice of questioning above conforming. It is a work of remarkable perception, intensity and resonance from one of Britain's most promising young writers.