The Whole Day Through
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This bestselling bittersweet story of love and second chances takes place over the course of a single summer day . . . or does it?
The only child of eccentric academics who never married, Laura Lewis was an undergrad at Oxford when she met Ben Patterson. They shared an idyllic few months of passion, only to go their separate ways when Ben ended their relationship.
Two decades later, Laura is a self-employed accountant with a history of unfulfilling liaisons with married men, her adult life “mapped out in relationships not achievements.” She leaves Paris to return to England, determined to keep her osteoporosis-stricken mother from the indignities of an institution by caring for her at home. At a hospital in historic Winchester, Laura runs into her former love. A onetime HIV consultant, Ben has also come home to be a caregiver to his gay younger brother with mosaic Down syndrome. Ben is now married to Chloe, a former model he doesn’t love. In spite of the obstacles against them, Laura and Ben rekindle their affair.
The Whole Day Through takes place over twenty-four hours, while simultaneously spanning decades to tell Laura and Ben’s story. As the narrative threads move inexorably toward each other, past and present merge in a haunting collage of memory, mortality, missed chances, and the obligations and regrets of love. This novel from the bestselling British author of Notes from an Exhibition was a Sainsbury’s Book Club pick in the UK.
“Wry, clever, faultlessly crafted . . . threaded with sadness . . . beautifully written, precisely nuanced and assured.” —The Guardian
“A bittersweet tale of what happens when you’re torn between duty and desire.” —She
“During the course of a summer’s day, memories are revisited, hearts, souls and consciences searched, and second chances fleetingly emerge. . . . [Gale’s] fluid telescoping of past and present adds to the mood of quiet poignancy.” —The Sunday Times
“Poignant and acutely observed.” —Daily Express
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester, before attending Oxford University. He now lives on a farm near Land’s End. One of the United Kingdom’s best-loved novelists, his recent works include A Perfectly Good Man, The Whole Day Through, and the Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller Notes from an Exhibition. His latest novel, A Place Called Winter, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize, the Walter Scott Prize, and the Independent Booksellers’ Novel of the Year award. To find out more about Patrick and his work, visit www.galewarning.org.