Written by Robert Blain
Category: · Children’s Books

When people think of ’60s Britain they think of The Beatles, Twiggy and Michael Caine womanising his way through London. But miniskirts and The Who didn’t mean anything to the working man in Scotland. The shipyards are failing, sectarianism still holds sway, and the only thing you have to rely on along the banks of the Clyde is your work, your creed and your family. But with the first two failing and the last one slipping away, what’s left to cling to?
Close is a story of family and belonging that begins in Glasgow and ends in Australia. It’s the story of Jimmy Baxter, a working-class husband and father, a failed footballer and a middling boxer. He wants out of the city – out of his own skin – but his shameful past as an illegitimate child holds him back. Looking for a place in the world he befriends two men: one, a German immigrant who survived the World War II bombing raids Jimmy helped create; the other a well-connected art dealer who goes on to seduce Jimmy’s own wife.
As events sweep by, the pair’s violent deaths – in which Jimmy plays unwitting roles – eventually give him the strength to realise that clinging to the past is not the answer.
Meanwhile, in modern-day Melbourne, the Baxters’ descendant makes his own search into the past – to reconstruct the circumstances that led to his birth, tracking down the historic clues of Jimmy and Jude Baxter’s life in Glasgow and the truth that brought his family to Australia in the first place…


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