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Let Go My Hand

The Laskers are a family in crisis. Despite his unshakable faith in the love of his second marriage, Larry struggles with the guilt of having wrecked one home to make another. His middle-aged sons, Ralph and Jack, never recovered from the divorce and still live each day in rebuke to their father. Even Larry's youngest and favourite son, Lou, born more than a decade later, hasn't escaped the corrosive effects of the long-buried secrets and lies that have come to define the family. Everyone always assumed the mess could be sorted out later. But now Larry has a terminal illness. In the time he has left, he desperately wants two things: to heal the wounds he's caused and to choose when his own life ends. We join him as he sets off on what might be his final journey, a road trip across Europe just like the ones he used to take in the boys' summer holidays. But will his sons come together to aid in his dying wish? Is redemption or forgiveness possible any more? Can a family's love prove powerful enough to keep a dying man alive? Let Go My Hand is a darkly hilarious and very moving novel about a singular family in the twenty-first century; through these vividly realized characters, it asks elemental questions about how we love, how we live, and what really matters in the end. Frequently playful, sometimes profound, always beautifully written, this novel shows the Booker-longlisted author of Self Help at his brilliant best, and confirms him as one of Britain's most intelligent and powerful writers.
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A brilliant, darkly funny and deeply moving novel about a dysfunctional family and their final chance to fix things

About the Author

Edward Docx was born in 1972. His previous novels are The Calligrapher, Self Help and The Devil's Garden. He lives and works in London.


This darkly funny yet poignant novel is about a dysfunctional family. Intelligently written with vivid characters, this uplifting story says something about acceptance, making amends and the strength of familial bonds * Wales Arts Review * Compelling, and full of pathos and interest * Sunday Times * Similarities between Let Go My Hand and Edward Docx's previous novel, Self Help, which was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker prize . . . good at evoking the foetid atmosphere of resentment and overfamiliarity between these four men . . . consequences of past events are revealed in their combative clash of wits, the bitter humour, the conversations like interrogations . . . confronts a messy, fraught and painful subject and pins it out for our examination . . . there's something deeply cathartic in that * Times * Laugh-out-loud humour in novels about terminal illness is more common than you'd expect, but the necessary blend with genuine pathos has rarely been better handled than in Edward Docx's wonderfully readable new book . . . Apart from its finely judged tone, the book has a fierce momentum driven by the wavering determination of the three sons to carry things to the conclusion their father so devoutly wishes for * Daily Mail * Docx has a gift for assessing "the exact shape and weight of other people's inner selves, the architecture of their spirit" and even his most ancillary characters flare into being, vital and insistent * The New Yorker * Bursts into life . . . Docx's mastery of emotional verisimilitude had my eyes filmed with tears as I read the last few pages. I succumbed to the Laskers, to their unabashed seriousness and dirty jokes . . . a serious, big-hearted book * Literary Review * Smart writers are told that their work is clever; sensitive writers that theirs is poignant. I may have to reconsider my idea, however, having read Edward Docx's fourth novel, which combines the best of both worlds . . . an incredibly touching story of the tender and indestructible bond that exists between a father and his three sons . . . It's a curious thing when a book about death can prove so life-affirming. It's something to be admired -- John Boyne * Irish Times * Docx knows that what we want most from a novel are stories into which we can sink our teeth and our hearts -- Kamila Shamsie * Guardian * There are books that change your life and there are books that seem to be your life, Let Go My Hand manages to be both and more. Full of shining truths, this is a stylish and properly laugh-out-loud funny book that also had me choking back tears in public - a book that breathes pathos and joy into every page, a book that rubs wit and wisdom into the most tender wounds of love. I had to read many passages out loud to those that I care about the most in the world. If art is the holding in balance of the powers of love, sex and death, then this is a truly supreme work of art -- Ian Kelly, author of Mr Foote's Other Leg A truly dazzling writer -- Hanif Kureishi An outstanding novel - tremendously moving, fiercely intelligent and very, very funny, even when it's breaking your heart -- Paul Murray, author of Skippy Dies

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