The Blind Light
(PICADOR, 544 PP, £18.99)
Tablet bookshop price £17.09 • Tel 020 7799 4064
Stuart Evers’ gripping second novel explores some of the themes in Your Father Sends His Love, his 2015 short-story collection: family disconnection and resentment, the small betrayals within a marriage, the way “the constellations” in a loved one’s mind “remain unknowable, unseen, yet sometimes illuminated”.
The Blind Light is a spellbinding family history, encompassing the personal and the political. It starts in 1959 with ‘Drum’ Moore, previously a worker at Ford’s Dagenham plant, finishing his National Service. He has to carry out field exercises wearing a radiation suit at a training-base facsimile of a town devastated by a nuclear bomb. Drum’s obsession with Doom Town and the nuclear apocalypse, shared with his posh, rich fellow serviceman and friend Carter, forms a toxic thread that partly destroys his family.