Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

This is the story (is story the word?) of Nathaniel and his sister Rachel, abandoned by their parents in London at the end of World War II, as teenagers. The first half narrates this era in Nathaniel’s experience, with the two men who are looking after them, known to the siblings as The Moth and The Darter.

In the second half, Nathaniel in his 20’s reconstructs what actually happened during that time. His mother, it turns out, was a spy. But none of this is narrated in very straightforward ways. There aren’t many actual scenes. Rather, there are impressions. Layers of experience. It’s a book that settles upon you like mist, rather than raindrops falling on your face.

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