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Close to Hugh

Length: 17 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

This witty and compassionate national best seller shows us how two generations in a seemingly ordinary small town navigate extraordinary rites of passage during a single, fateful week in autumn. 

Close to Hugh is a glorious, exuberant, poignant comic novel about youth and age, art and life, love and death - and about losing your mind and finding your heart's desire over the course of seven days one September. 

As the week opens, 50-something Hugh Argylle, owner of the Argylle Art Gallery, has a jarring fall from a ladder - a fall that leaves him with a fractured off-kilter vision of his own life and the lives of his friends, who are going through crises (dying parents; disheveled marriages; wilting businesses) that leave them despairing, afraid, one half-step from going under emotionally or financially. Someone's going to have to fix all that, thinks Hugh - and it will probably be him. 

With exquisite insight and surefooted mastery, Endicott manages something surprising: to show us, with an unerring ear for the different cadences and concerns of both generations, two sets of friends on the cusp of simultaneous reinvention. And, as always in Endicott's wonderful fictional worlds, underpinning the sharp comedy and keenly observed drama is something more profound: a rare and rich perspective on what it means to rise and fall and rise again, and what in the end we owe those we love.

©2015 Marina Endicott (P)2019 Anchor Canada

Critic Reviews

"Oddly original and charming.... Rich with adjectives, the novel addresses huge and general questions about the meaning of life and the universe with remarkable specificity." (The Globe and Mail)

"Reading a new novel by Marina Endicott, I am often reminded of the work of the late Carol Shields, the casually understated depth of her talent. It's not just that Endicott shares with the American-born, wholly Canadian Shields an impressive skill, a comfort in writing in whatever form or approach she chooses; she also shares with Shields a fundamental, deep-seated humanity.... [Close to Hugh is] a powerful, rewarding novel...at times, wildly funny, both broad and tightly focused." (Toronto Star)

"The first thing to note about Marina Endicott's Close to Hugh is the book's voice, which is alive with impish humour, a deep reservoir of humanity, and a gift for quirky, evocative phrasing.... Every sentence in this book made me want to read the next one.... Endicott is dealing with big ideas and profound issues...[a] deliciously complex novel." (Literary Review of Canada)

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