The Hillingdon Fox
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Here we have an exceptional book. Jan Mark's wit and perception of people and events have a sharpness and political edge held within an ingenious structure of two diaries whose entries are juxtaposed throughout the novel. Elder brother Gerald's diary is kept during the Falklands War and buried in a time capsule, meant to be opened in 100 years. Hugh keeps his diary during the Gulf War, eight years later, and discovers that the time capsule is being dug up to make way for building work. (Some witty comment on historical certainty here.) Gerald's alarm fuels the sense that there must be something highly dramatic within that capsule. And so the book leads us on, uncovering the past slowly against its parallel present: with global dramas unfolding against domestic ones (and truth and distortion equally hard to disentangle at both levels). We finally face, through intense narrative curiosity, the question of what we might really care about.