The Mountain of Light by Claire Allen

The Mountain of Light

Claire Allen

A very easy-to-read love story that flits from London to Poland and reminds me of a Maeve Binchy novel. Both authors have the extraordinary technique of interweaving a person's life to make a link with another. The base of this story is an Indian restaurant in London and the characters that live and work there - add to this an elderly Polish man whose life we also experience. Rather sad - but not 'tissue' sad, with chapter endings that leave you wanting more. Keep reading and you won't be disappointed

Extract

A general murmuring had arisen and, as I stood there facing them, feeling a little light-headed but still surging with euphoria, the doorman who had let me in, along with one of the burlier of the dinner-suited guests, approached and set about removing me, taking one arm each and frogmarching me to the exit. I turned wildly, calling out to Ewa, shouting that they were making a mistake, that I was wrong. Ewa stood and watched, her expression frozen, her hand still at her mouth, and I lost sight of her as I was escorted round the corner.
They threw me out into the night. I vomited copiously on the steps, spitefully hoping that every guest would have to tread through it, wove my way to the subway and rode ingloriously back to my room in Queens.
He turns down the corners of his mouth slowly, pressing his dry, paper-grey lips firmly together. His face has lost all its colour. He is beginning to look like an old faded photograph of someone long dead. He has not had a shave for several days and whiskers are growing defiantly on his hollowed-out cheeks.



Parallels
  • At Quentins by Maeve Binchy
  • The Shadowlines by Amitav Ghosh