LONGLISTED FOR THE POLARI PRIZE 2019
‘The phone rings, in that short-tempered peremptory way machines have. He almost doesn’t answer; he’s been fending off unwanted offers of insurance, unlimited broadband, crates of discount wine for months now. His name must be on some list somewhere – Jeremy Eldritch, sucker…’
Meet the hapless Jeremy: a man in his late 50s, he scrapes together a living in Paris by writing soft-core pornography under the saucy guise of ‘Nathalie Cray’.
When his all-but-estranged sister tells him their father is on his deathbed, Jeremy reluctantly travels back to his parental home in the depths of the English countryside. Confronted with a life that he had always been eager to escape, his return marks the start of an emotionally fraught journey into the family’s chequered past. The journey takes him back to the unexpected death of his mother in a provincial Greek hospital years earlier and, further back, to the moment at which the Eldritch family fell apart. It’s a journey composed of revelations, of secrets disclosed and not disclosed, and of something that might, or might not, be reconciliation…
An atypical coming-of-age tale, Prodigal deftly reconsiders everything we think we know about the nature of trust, death, and what we do to each other in the name of love.
Praise for Charles Lambert
‘Expertly crafted’ Owen King, author of Double Feature
‘A seriously good writer’ Beryl Bainbridge
‘Charles Lambert could one day attain classic status’ Maggie Gee
‘More delicate than Dickens and stranger than Snicket,.. Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue. I loved every weird moment of it’ Nuala O’Connor, author of Miss Emily