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Publisher: Grove Press (2004-02-05)
ISBN-10/ISBN-13: 0802117678 / 9780802117670
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 9320546
A 2004 Vacation Reading (selected by The New York Times)
“A suitably memorable British novel whose focus is Lillian, a vagrant old woman upstairs in an empty room. Nearly all she ever had has been taken from her, starting before World War II, and as her story is slowly unearthed from the bogs of East Anglia, loss itself becomes the subject of meditation.”
Set in England against the backdrop of World War II, the much anticipated second novel by the Booker Prize finalist and national best-selling author of The Hiding Place is a story of pursuit: of stolen goods, of missing years, and of one woman’s forgotten history
The only debut novel to be short-listed for the Booker Prize in 2001, The Hiding Place became a national bestseller and established Trezza Azzopardi as an international sensation. With her second novel, Remember Me, Azzopardi delivers a harrowing, elegant, and vivid portrait of a lost life at last reclaimed.
Seventy-two-year-old Winnie—homeless and abandoned time and again by those she’s trusted—would say she’s no trouble. She is content to let the days go by, minding her own business, bothering no one. Winnie would rather not recall the past and at her age doesn’t see much point in thinking about the future. But she is catapulted out of her exile when a young girl robs her of her suitcase and her wig—Winnie’s only material possessions. With nothing else to show for her life, these few pieces are irreplaceable to her; she wants them back.
Winnie then embarks on a journey to find the thief, and what begins as a search for stolen belongings becomes the rediscovery of a stolen life. Forced to take stock of how events long buried have brought her to a derelict house on the edge of nowhere, she relives the secrets of a past she had disowned. From her childhood in the 1930s and the upheaval caused by a feuding family, to the dislocation caused by World War II, and finally to the days leading up to her "fall," Winnie recalls a series of revelations and betrayals so disturbing it is no wonder she was driven out of normal society and onto the streets.
As she pieces together the fragments of her life, her once secluded world begins to fill with people—including her devoted father, the haunting figure of her mother, and her domineering grandfather—and Winnie recognizes that she is no longer simply on a hunt for stolen goods. After all these years, she has not escaped from her life at all: she has been circling it, and must now come to terms with it.
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