A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton

Another wonderful debut novel from the Bailey’s 2016 long list. It’s the story of an old woman who’s spent her life grieving for her daughter and grandson lost in Nagasaki when the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. Now a widow, living in America, she opens the door one day to find a badly scarred middle-aged man who claims to be her grandson. But is he? And how did he survive? His appearance in her life forces her to revisit the past and to relive the terrible rift between mother and daughter that she blames on one man alone. It grips you from the beginning and leaves you wondering until the end.

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