Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift - review by Toby Lichtig

Toby Lichtig

Everything Is Broken

Wish You Were Here


Picador 353pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Jack Luxton is a former Devon farmer who now runs a caravan park on the Isle of Wight. Life, on the surface, is prosperous enough. BSE is just a memory and the foot-and-mouth debacle has merely vindicated his decision to start afresh. The holidaymakers at his site may grumble about ‘the dire state of the world’ but Jack and his wife Ellie have their annual fortnight in the Caribbean to look forward to. Not bad for someone who’d never left the county until ten years ago, who’d barely seen the sea. 

Then a letter arrives from the Ministry of Defence, bringing news of Jack’s younger brother, killed in service in Iraq. Setting off to collect the remains and attend the funeral, Jack reflects upon a troubled family past, a history of words unsaid and deeds regretted, and a present

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