Patrick McGuinness

Pictures of Poiana

Painter of Silence


Bloomsbury 312pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Georgina Harding’s new novel, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, is set in 1950s Romania as the country emerges from war and communism tightens its grip. The story begins in the city of Iaşi, when an unnamed man arrives at the railway station. It is his first trip beyond the countryside of Poiana, where, we discover, he was the illegitimate son of a servant in a large country house owned by a wealthy family. The world he leaves behind is essentially feudal, though in her evocation of his childhood Harding shows how children can live with scant regard for the caste system of their elders. 

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