Beautifully descriptive and thrillingly captivating, this novel, by Whitbread Prize-winning author Lindsay Clarke, is the story of duty and desire, and of the man who is torn by and trapped between them.
Haunted by memories and visions of both his professional past and a love gone awry, war reporter Martin Crowther arrives in the small village Fontalba, in Italy’s Umbrian Hills. He is there to search for the adult children of his mentor, Hal Brigshaw. Living in England, Brigshaw is nearing the end of a turbulent life and wants to summon his children home. The children, Marina and Adam, are living in familial exile and estrangement, hidden from their pasts in what was originally meant to be an Italian vacation home. But the pasts from which Marina and Adam have run are more present than anyone knows.
The Water Theatre interweaves the past and the present, travelling from the raw Pennine moors to equatorial Africa and the hill country of Umbria. An extraordinary reading experience that—in its depiction of an innocent drawn into a fascinating circle, its decades-long will-they-won’t-they-end-up-together romance, its exploration of weighty issues of loyalty and loss, betrayal and reconciliation and the nature of choice—evokes John Fowles’s two most brilliant novels, The Magus and Daniel Martin.