Invisible

Jonathan Buckley

Edward Morton, a blind translator, arrives at the Oak, an ailing spa hotel in the west of England, intending to stay for a few days to visit his family and to work. The manager of the Oak, Malcolm Caldecott, is preparing for the closure of the hotel, and for the visit of Stephanie, the daughter he has not seen for eight years. Eloni Dobra, a chambermaid at the Oak, is striving to establish a life in England, and to free herself of a burden that is crucial to her relationship both with her employer and with Edward Morton. As the nature of that burden becomes clearer, each of these four protagonists and the absent fifth – Morton’s lover – move towards a crisis and, like the Oak itself, towards an uncertain future. Spanning the last three weeks of the Oak’s existence, Invisible explores multiple voices – voices in conversation, voices in writing, on tape, in memory. It’s an investigation of our perception of the world and our place in it, of the pleasures and deceptions of the senses, of the uses of language, of the lure of nostalgia and the difficulties of living in the present. Above all, like Buckley’s previous novel, Ghost MacIndoe, it’s a lyrical celebration of the transient, and an original study of love.

Reviews of Invisible

  • ‘Invisible is a wise and subtly balanced exploration of human relationships, a compassionate tale in which love, if not exactly triumphant, nevertheless contrives to have the last word.’
    Guardian

    ‘A novel full of subtle, emotional dramas … thoughtful, accomplished and beautifully written.’
    Mail on Sunday

    ‘Invisible explores a number of themes – isolation, exile, the treacherous brevity of the present, the sweet irretrievability of the past – handling them so lightly that they scarcely seem like themes at all. It is a deceptively simple novel, so patient in its observations and so natural in its rhythm and texture, that it makes many more dramatic novels look needlessly contrived.’
    Time Literary Supplement