Ethan Croft

Unhappy Together

The End of the Day


Jonathan Cape 320pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

In The End of the Day, Bill Clegg returns to his native Connecticut, the setting of his Booker Prize-longlisted debut novel Did You Ever Have a Family. As in that book, Clegg chooses as his leading character an heiress and member of New England’s ersatz aristocracy. Dana Goss is sixty-eight, bisexual and succumbing to dementia. Spurred by the prospect of a steep cognitive decline, she decides to resolve a series of disputes that tore her household apart in the early 1970s. But the standard method of reconciliation – picking up the telephone and ringing estranged acquaintances – is too conventional for Dana. Instead, she travels around the northeast of the United States in a chauffeur-driven car, carrying a brown suitcase full of birth certificates, letters and official documents, which, if read carefully by the appropriate people, might put right a half-century of wrongs.

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