Graham Swift's, Here We Are is a delightful and magical treasure. I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this brief and pithy novel, but found myself drawn into the lives of the three main characters quite easily.
This story is about Ronnie, Evie and Jack. Together they are The Great Pablo and his assistant Eve - a magical act, and Jack Robinson who is the M.C. and comedian of the trio's vaudeville act in the late 1950's. A perfect setting.
The story pivots from 1959 to the past, during WWII when Ronnie is sent to Evergrene, a home with a loving couple, Penny and Eric Lawrence to keep him safe during the war. There, Ronnie is not only taken by their estate, the fact that they have two bathrooms and even a car, but by the couple themselves, who love him in ways his own parents couldn't. It is here, at Evergrene that Ronnie becomes a sorcerer's apprentice and magic becomes an important part of his life.
We spend time with the trio as they perfect their act and also create their own love triangle that will change things for everyone.
We also pivot forward to where the trio are, or might be. There are unanswered questions, grief and bereavement and pining for those magical moments of the past.
I loved how this book was written. It's emotional, without being overly so. Ronnie was my favourite and I felt that I got to know him on the deepest level with their still being an air of mystery surrounding him. The ending leaves us, like the characters, without all the answers and I believe that's how it should be.
A delightful read for a rainy Saturday morning in October.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Canada for a free e-copy of this book for an honest review.