21 October 2021
14.2 x 22.3 cm
“On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.”
A Song on the End of the World by Czeslaw Milosz
Kyle Halfpenny takes care of her dad who when not drunk is making careful preparations for their journey from their small Cheshire village to escape the end of the world. Her mother walked out long ago, her brother left Cheshire for London. There is just her and her father whose wild thoughts seem unfocused and dismembered when not circling round his one mad purpose: they must leave the city, escape with a car load of bottled water, dry goods and tins to keep them going while the world blows itself up. Kyle is fifteen but she has been the adult since she was ten years old. Perhaps a few weeks on Selny, a strange island off the coast close to Liverpool, full of rabbits and wild horses, will cure her dad’s madness. Nothing else will.
A gripping piece of magical realism. The harsh reality of a poor, isolated life is perceived obliquely through the eyes of a father and daughter whose tangled vision add a fine touch of poetry, irony, and magic to what are otherwise common lives, marked by a continuous scramble for existence.
Haunting, intricate – there’s a dark magic to the world Egan explores and well observed attention to the beauty and murk of the everyday.
Lyrical and haunting. Circles a Clover is a moving and beautifully poetic account of one girl’s reckoning with a world in crisis.