* WINNER OF THE HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE *
* SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE *
The rapturously acclaimed new novel by the Costa Award-winning author of PURE, hailed as 'excellent', 'gripping', 'as suspenseful as any thriller', 'engrossing', 'moving' and 'magnificent'.
One rainswept winter's night in 1809, an unconscious man is carried into a house in Somerset. He is Captain John Lacroix, home from Britain's disastrous campaign against Napoleon's forces in Spain.
Gradually Lacroix recovers his health, but not his peace of mind. He will not - cannot - talk about the war or face the memory of what took place on the retreat to Corunna. After the command comes to return to his regiment, he lights out instead for the Hebrides, unaware that he has far worse to fear than being dragged back to the army: a vicious English corporal and a Spanish officer with secret orders are on his trail.
In luminous prose, Miller portrays a man shattered by what he has witnessed, on a journey that leads to unexpected friendships, even to love. But as the short northern summer reaches its zenith, the shadow of the enemy is creeping closer. Freedom, for John Lacroix, will come at a high price. Taut with suspense, this is an enthralling, deeply involving novel by one of Britain's most acclaimed writers.
'His writing suspends life until it is read and is a source of wonder and delight' Hilary Mantel on Casanova in the Sunday Times He is a very stylish, almost painterly writer, and he has Hilary Mantel's gift for historical reconstruction, for describing the past without making it seem like a wax museum. In some of his best books - like Ingenious Pain, his first, about an 18th-century doctor, and the more recent Pure, about an engineer in pre-revolutionary France trying to clean up an ancient cemetery - he brings off the Mantel trick of plunging you so deeply into the past that before long you take it completely for granted . . . A subtheme of this novel, where one of the main characters can't see and the other can't hear, is unknowability, how hard it is to make sense of the world . . . In its formal slipperiness, first one kind of book, then another, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free
seems to be making the same point: that things are never quite what you expect, and history is altogether stranger than most accounts suggest. What makes Miller's own account so riveting is its alertness to wonder and unpredictability. -- Charles McGrath * New York Times Book Review * A layered, riveting novel from a skilled storyteller -- Summer Reads * The
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free