An Inventory of Heaven
By Jane Feaver
By turns chilling and poignant, An Inventory of Heaven is a lyrical and intimate meditation on the things we hold onto in life and how, in the end, we can try to let them go.
As a young woman, Mavis Gaunt leaves post-war London to make a new life for herself in rural Devon, where she spent a few blissful months of her childhood as an evacuee. Living alone in the verdant hamlet of Shipleigh, she believes she's found a heaven on earth - until a violent tragedy brings trouble to paradise, and turns Mavis's idyllic solitude into a tormented, guarded isolation.
Decades later, the arrival of a newcomer to the village forces Mavis to make a final reckoning: should she take her horrible secret to the grave? Or, should she summon up her ghosts and, in doing so, lay them to rest? An Inventory of Heaven is a lyrical and intimate meditation on the rural life, falling in love and the long passing of time.
Jane Feaver was born in Durham in 1964. After reading English at university she worked at the Pitt Rivers Museum and then in the Poetry Department at Faber and Faber. In 2001 she moved to Devon with her daughter.
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- Publication date:
02 May 2013
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More intimate than Thomas Hardy, and as perceptive too, about the countryside and country people, Jane Feaver is a supremely compelling chronicler of rural isolation. — Michael Morpurgo
Accomplished in every way, this novel is a true delight. — The Independent
Pitch perfect....Most memorable is Feaver's language - burnished and sturdily poetic with a saving comic streak — Observer
Jane Feaver has proved an expert at creating a sense of place ... tender, imaginative prose — Sunday Herald.
It's wonderful. The Inventory of Heaven is a revitalising exception to all the grim, mannered, clever books I read over the summer. The observation, the ear, the breadth of imaginative sympathy - all these reminded me why it's worth reading fiction. — Sean O'Brien