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A woman washes ashore in Sicily. She has come from north Africa to find her son, taken from her when he was just days old by his father and stolen away to Berlin. With nothing but her maid’s uniform and a knife stashed in a plastic bag, she relies on strangers— some generous, some exploiting—to guide her passage north.
These strangers tell of their encounters with a quiet, mysterious woman in a blue coat—each account a different view of the truth, a different truth. And slowly these fragments of a life piece together to create a spellbinding story of the courage of a mother and the versions of truth we create to accommodate our lives.
Haunting and beautiful, Hand Me Down World is simply unforgettable.
‘… a compelling narrative and an absorbing (and sometimes uncomfortable) disquisition on relative morality and justice.’
‘This novel is remarkable on every level…It is a piece of narrative brilliance in its construction. And is compelling in a new, quiet and beguiling way. Jones was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his previous novel, Mister Pip, and he is sure to win fans and accolades for this one.’
‘Lloyd Jones has plotted a fine and moving story with enormous compassion, emotional depth and tender insight into humanity.’
‘It would be difficult to think of another novelist quite as original or fearless as 55-year-old New Zealand author Lloyd jones. A writer of truly international sensibility … Lloyd Jones’s novel is freshly minted, unsettling and unsentimental.’
‘New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones is a master storyteller …’
‘Lloyd Jones’s Hand Me Down World is a rich and subtle exploration of a refugee experience; it asks great questions about the nature of both longing and belonging.’
‘Jones is a daring writer who can be relied on to ignore expectation, and is becoming one of the most interesting, honest and thought-provoking novelists working today.’
‘superbly disconcerting…[a] masterful, prismatic piece of storytelling.’