Monday, February 27, 2012

Recently Returned - Hand Me Down World

This is a new release by Lloyd Jones, author of the beloved novel Mr. Pip (which, btw, is being made into a movie starring Hugh Laurie…).  

Hand Me Down World is the gripping story of Ines, a staff supervisor at a hotel in Tunisia, who has an affair with one of her guests and ends up having a son with him.  This man takes their baby back with him to Berlin and Ines is left in the helpless situation of trying to reunite with her son.

 The tale is told from the point of view of the people that Ines encounters on her journey from North Africa to Germany.  They all seem to be perplexed yet drawn to help this woman who has only a jacket, a plastic bag, and a few Euros to her name.  Ines does anything necessary to keep heading north, and some people take advantage of her vulnerability while others go out of their way to protect her. 

Jones intrigues you with his colorful characters, his imagery, and his ability to make situations come full circle.   In parts 1, 2, and 3 everyone tells what they remember about Ines, but finally in part 4 we get to hear her interpretaion of the events.  It is fascinating to compare her account to all the others.  

A must for anyone who liked Mr. Pip or who appreciates contemporary British novels.  Definitely worth looking for in our new fiction section!