The Absolutist

“Seated opposite me in the railway carriage, the elderly lady in the fox-fur shawl was recalling some of the murders that she had committed over the years.”


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The Absolutist

Longlisted for the 2013 International Impac Dublin Literary Award

Winner of a Stonewall Honor Award in Literature (USA)

Shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Awards (USA)

September 1919:20 year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver some letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian’s brother Will during the Great War but in 1917, Will laid down his guns on the battlefield, declared himself a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family.

But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan’s visit. He holds a secret deep in his soul. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage.

As they stroll through the streets of a city still coming to terms with the end of the war, he recalls his friendship with Will, from the training ground at Aldershot to the trenches of Northern France, and speaks of how the intensity of their friendship brought him from brief moments of happiness and self-discovery to long periods of despair and pain.

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