Past Life

Past Life


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Review by Anne Day


When Anna’s teacher Miss Glass gives her a Box Brownie camera, it turns her life around. She embarks on a mission that becomes almost an obsession, to record and photograph the orchards around her.

It is there that she meets Friedrich an older German who was once an aspiring writer. His ambitions destroyed by the war. And as events unfold, she realizes that her connections to the orchard and to Friedrich are deeper than she could ever have imagined.

The mysteries and secrets of her past unravel in the most shocking, tender, and unexpected ways.

This is a moving novel across the generations and has been called William Lanes most beautiful work to date.


Other Reviews


‘Throughout this moving narrative, the traumas and triumphs of the past transform in the light of letters, poems, novels, paintings, photographs, dreams, and memories. Developing with the eerie precision of a photographic plate, old wars, lost loves, swim into view, then intersect, blossom, fade — and take on new meaning.’

— Carmel Bird