With quiet optimism and a haunting poignancy, the award-winning poet Anthony Lawrence's first novel explores the strange, sometimes marvelous, and entirely disorienting world of James Molloy. For however unexceptional James—an average student, a dutiful son—may appear to outsiders, he knows that he is different. He has visions, and in their eerie halflight two realities—the one that he lives in and the one that lives in him—collide, intermingle, coalesce. Sometimes out of the vibrant confusion inside his head come voices that glide from his mind into his mouth. Vision finds a language of its own. Alone, isolated by his difference, James faces a future without close companionship until the day that he meets Stephanie Riley, a sympathetic guide who leads him to unexpected truths, and then disappears. Driven to learn what lies at the center of his curious universe, James begins a heartrending journey that takes him from a tragic romantic interlude in rural Australia to the west coast of Ireland. There, even as he enters the emotionally turbulent world of Sarah Carmichael, a talented, hard-drinking fiddle player, James emerges into the clarity of self-awareness. And discovers at last the possibilities that lie in friendship, art, love, tomorrow.
From a review by Anne Skea in Electica Mag: “I have no idea whether Anthony Lawrence has direct experience of schizophrenia, and no idea if what he describes of it is real or imaginary. But this does not matter, because the way he tells the story of James's young life has an immediacy which makes it feel wholly authentic. This is a remarkably accomplished first novel, and Lawrence has a poet's ear for the rhythm of language and a poetic ability to convey thoughts, feelings and emotions with powerful directness.”