Wish You Were Here, By Graham Swift

A profound journey from the Somme to the Isle of Wight

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The Independent Culture

Graham Swift's slightly idiosyncratic and psychologically profound style is perfectly suited to this story of family loss and the landscape that surrounds us.

Jack might seem wedded to the land but he has left farming in Devon behind for a caravan park on the Isle of Wight, which he runs with his wife, Ellie. Unspoken tensions run between them after news of Jack's younger brother Tom's death in Iraq reaches them. In an organic tale that elegantly binds the past and present, love and death, Swift links the fate of these brothers with two of Jack's relatives who died on the Somme – one to be celebrated with a medal and one not, although "both were brave boys".