Simon Baker

Bearing Crosses

To Heaven by Water


Bloomsbury 305pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Justin Cartwright’s thirteenth novel concerns the Crosses, a successful London family trying to regroup following the death of Nancy, the wife and mother whose constancy had given everyone a sense of place. David Cross, a recently retired newsreader, has closed himself off from his wife’s death, and is living in a state of denial. He has become obsessed with exercise and has taken to wearing inappropriately youthful clothes, ‘treading a fine line on the edge of the ridiculous’. While his friends have begun the retreat into old age and a sense of purposelessness (‘You wonder why you would make plans to paint the house or visit the pyramids’), David believes, only half guiltily, that he has never been happier. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,