Spring, By David Szalay

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The Independent Culture

Canadian-born David Szalay won both the Betty Trask and Geoffrey Faber prizes for his debut, London & the South-East. In Spring, his third novel, he analyses the relationship between two youngish Londoners - James, who is ready for love, and Katherine who seems to be interested but has recently emerged from a difficult marriage. Szalay plots the emotional roller-coaster ride of early courtship as James tries to ascertain if his feet are on solid ground: "When he phones her, standing in the silence of the flat, it is only because he wants to know that things are Okay. On that question he is insatiable." Thirtysomethings will lap up a love story that captures the real-life cut and thrust of an affair that feels like it's never going to blossom into a full romance.