Once 'England's most promising young composer' - now living comfortably in Hampstead with his wife Milly, an heiress - Jack Middleton is in mid-life decline, his career in free-fall. When he visits Estonia for a three-week search for inspiration, he falls for a young waitress called Kaja, deeply bound up in the suffering of her country and the joy and danger of its new freedom. They embark on a passionate affair on a lonely island in a time warp. Then it's over.But of course nothing is ever over. Still childless six years later, Jack and Milly's marriage shows the strain, but they battle on better than most - until the past returns with a vengeance. The crisis takes place over a month, against a precise calendar of background events, both minor and major.Set in London and Estonia between 1999 and 2005 in the aftermath of the London bombings, as a hot, despondent summer drags on unnaturally into the autumn, Between Each Breath is a rich and often hilarious critique of Blair's Britain- decadent, bewildered, shallow, greedy, but knowing all the right buttons to press; knowing the language of compassion and abusing it. A story of love and betrayal, of age and youth, of wealth and poverty, of the new Europe and the old Europe, of art and compromise, of youthful ideals and cynical weariness, Adam Thorpe's extraordinary new novel is a biting, timely satire and a powerfully moving examination of social and emotional disintegration.
Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, appeared in 1992, and he has published two books of stories and six poetry collections and nine further novels, most recently Flight (2012). www.adamthorpe.net