“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
Post)
To see the entire quote, click here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's all relative, even in Cambridge

For hundreds of years young men had been gaining a higher education just a few yards from where Lew sat. He left school at fourteen, a working class lad, not lacking intelligence, just lacking the encouragement and confidence such places of learning seem to bestow. I don’t think he looked around him and saw a missed opportunity for himself. It was a world in which he felt he could never belong. This, he imagined, was the world of Milton, Tennyson, Hawking, a world beyond his horizons, his class. But not beyond the ambitions of his family.
“Your granddaughter may study here one day, Dad.”
Lew’s face crinkled into the semblance of a smile. He nodded, I prepared myself for a bitter comment, a wistful phrase tinged with regret.
“I’m knackered. I’m truly knackered,” he growled as he got to his feet. “There’s a pub up the road. We’ll go for that, me and your mother. Come on!”

8 comments:

Michelloui said...

There's something quietly poignant in this scene. Well written, human and not sentimental. Enjoying these!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

That's very sweet of you to say that. Glad you're enjoying these vignettes.

Amy said...

I think Michelloui summed it up very nicely, I'm so anxious to read the book and see how it all comes together!

Smitten by Britain said...

Never for a second did I ever consider that my son would attend the University of Glasgow. But it might happen. It's like a dream isn't it? I would give my right arm to go to Oxbridge.

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Thanks Amy--and I'll be anxious to hear what you think!
Melissa--and why not? Is he interested? Right now, Kate seems to have her eye on Prodigal Wife's alma mater in New York...who knows?

Linens and Royals said...

Thank you for your kind words, will be out today to track down a copy of your book, it sounds fun and just my type of read. I am an Anglophile from way back even though not English, i manage to get to London for all major royal events and become a groupie hanging around THE PALACE. XX

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Absolutely brilliant !
You've got to love the working class, say it as they see it...
The thought of a nice pint impressed him ;)

Maggie said...

Such a great story... I love your writing style. I CANNOT wait for the book!