Our Fathers

What kind of man kills his own family?

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astonishingly powerful” (Guardian)

“A wonderful novel” (Spectator)

“Perceptive, generous exploration of … trauma” (Literary Review)

“This is a beautifully realised novel … gripping in its intensity. Outstanding.” (Daily Mail)

When Tom was eight years old, his father took a shotgun and shot his family: his wife, his son and baby daughter, before turning the gun on himself. Only Tom survived.

He left his tiny, shocked community on the island of Litta and the strained silence of his Uncle Malcolm’s house while still a young boy. For twenty years he’s tried to escape his past. Until now.

Without knowing how to ask, he needs answers – from his uncle, who should have known. From his neighbours, who think his father a decent man who ‘just snapped’. From the memories that haunt the wild landscape of the Hebrides.

And from the silent ones who know more about what happened – and why – than they have ever dared admit.

By turns gripping, beautiful, devastating and tender, Our Fathers is a story about violence and redemption, control and love. With understated compassion and humour, Rebecca Wait gives a voice to the silenced and to the silences between men of few words.

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Reviews

“With an immaculate sense of place and great compassion, Rebecca Wait reaches behind the headlines to tell a story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situationStark yet lyrical, subtly mysterious and always humane, Our Fathers is a novel that details the trauma that is left behind in the long, bleak aftermath of violence” (Nina Allan, author of The Dollmaker)

“A deeply involving study of a controlling father and the devastation he wreaks. Wait evokes the isolated community where the violence unfolds with startling realism and compassionA wise and moving novel.” (Polly Clark)

“Rebecca Wait is a master pageturner” (Buchkultur)

“Rebecca Wait moves between psychological novel, family novel and crime thriller. And remains as effectively sparse as the landscape of the Hebrides itself. Everything only rock and heath, moor and sea, in between fate, human” (Berliner Zeitung)

“Our Fathers is a compelling and insightful exploration of the way the effects of an atrocity ripple out to affect an entire community. Wait has the gift of finding the universal truths in extreme events and making them live on the page. Precise, restrained and disarmingly funny, this novel beguiles, shocks and charms.” (Ann Morgan, author of Beside Myself)

“In clear and tight writing, this is the riveting story of a few moments of violence and the decades of impact that follows. The novels makes very human what would otherwise be a headline. This is a writer to watch.” (Audrey Shulman, author of Theory of Bastards)

“Wait wisely avoids the temptations of melodrama to create an astonishingly powerful story of toxic masculinity, regret and the possibility of redemption.” (Guardian)

“A wonderful novel” (Spectator)

“Perceptive, generous exploration of … trauma” (Literary Review)

“This is a beautifully realised novel … gripping in its intensity. Outstanding.” (Daily Mail)