Sebastian has long been haunted by the disappearance of his father, Jack Messenger: celebrated travel writer, potential spy and murder victim, his absent presence and equivocal past continue to cast inescapable shadows over his son, who must also contend with his ageing mother's fragmented memory and his own dereliction of a partner.
So who is the stranger that buttonholes Sebastian at an academic conference on the Welsh coast and reveals lies and transgressions neither outgrown nor comprehended? How does he know Sebastian, and what are his connections to Jack Messenger?
Equivocator, in a story that stretches from Egypt to Germany, from Iran's Zagros Mountains to the Gower coastline, is a study of fathers and sons, lovers and betrayers, loss and recovery, and combines dark fable, satire and a love story in its pursuit of the question: can Sebastian find his own salvation, despite the inheritance from his father?
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- Optimistic Blue
A clever, rich, generous novella.
Matt Addis does a very good job of narrating this sublime novella - his reading really grew on me. The book itself raises some very thought provoking questions as it explores the main character, Seb Messenger’s, life, behaviours and relationships as he tries to seek the truth about his elusive father in the aftermath of his disappearance in the mountains of Iran: To what extent should we let our past affect our present and future? Are hidden and forgotten secrets better left buried if the quest we have to unearth them absorbs us so much that we forsake what is real and right? Can good emerge from the devastation of the crushing weight of a hideous truth? When should a person rich in empathy decide that enough is enough? Can a relationship truly have a future if the past still haunts and its influence is present? An extremely enjoyable read, heart warming at times. It was lovely to discover Seb’s realisations, which perhaps just might apply to all of us ~ “Truth occurs in moments. Only. Sandwiched between lies and duplicities... they can neither be confirmed nor - please note - undone.” I should also add, Readers of Davies’ masterful ‘The Eyrie’ will be pleased to come across a tender reference to the unforgettable 92-year-old Socialist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, 'Red Dora'.