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Powerful themes in the "thought-provoking" novel 'The Coast Road'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 May 2024, 2:06pm
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Powerful themes in the "thought-provoking" novel 'The Coast Road'

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 18 May 2024, 2:06pm

The Ministry of Time by Kaliane Bradley 

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.  
She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machine,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But he adjusts quickly; he is, after all, an explorer by trade. Soon, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a seriously uncomfortable housemate dynamic, evolves into something much more. Over the course of an unprecedented year, Gore and the bridge fall haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences they never could have imagined. 
 
Supported by a chaotic and charming cast of characters—including a 17th-century cinephile who can’t get enough of Tinder, a painfully shy World War I captain, and a former spy with an ever-changing series of cosmetic surgery alterations and a belligerent attitude to HR—the bridge will be forced to confront the past that shaped her choices, and the choices that will shape the future. 

 

The Coast Road by Alan Murrin 

Set in 1994, The Coast Road tells the story of two women—Izzy Keaveney, a housewife, and Colette Crowley, a poet. Colette has left her husband and sons for a married man in Dublin. When she returns to her home in County Donegal to try to pick up the pieces of her old life, her husband, Shaun, a successful businessman, denies her access to her children. 

The only way she can see them is with the help of neighbour Izzy, acting as a go-between. Izzy also feels caught in a troubled marriage. The friendship that develops between them will ultimately lead to tragedy for one, and freedom for the other. 

 

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