Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: M.J. Boyle

Empire Close

Pages: 110 Ratings: 5.0
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Empire Close unfolds in a quaint cul-de-sac of six 1950s detached houses in a mid-sized English commuter town, where Ted has always felt part of a close-knit community.As 1997 dawns, Ted, now retired and wheelchair-bound, reflects on the past 45 years in Empire Close. He fondly remembers a time when a strong British identity was the hallmark of the neighbourhood, a trait he held dear. However, he’s witnessed a gradual transformation that leaves him feeling isolated and nostalgic.With the death of the last original neighbour, Ted grapples with the reality that he may be the last ‘true’ Brit left. His internal struggle is profound, as he wrestles with his beliefs and identity, yet never fully confronting their deeper implications.An unexpected turn of events dramatically upsets Ted’s world, challenging him to confront both his past and his future. This journey of self-discovery brings Ted to a pivotal crossroads, where he must reconcile his past actions with their unforeseen impact on his life.The story navigates the complexities of identity, community, and change, leaving readers to ponder André Malraux’s notion: ‘When man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own.’ As the narrative unfolds, Ted’s journey towards understanding his destiny and himself takes intriguing turns, leading to a thought-provoking conclusion.

M.J Boyle was born in the mid 1950s in the North, grew up in the South of England but has spent her adult life in Europe. Her strong ties to her home country and her sincere affection for Britain influenced her career in teaching English as a foreign language.

 

As a university lecturer and Business English teacher she remains an avid observer not only of British society but also of the political landscape in Great Britain.

 

She lives with her family in the South of Germany.

Customer Reviews
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  • NOZER

    The world seen through the eyes of a disabled, wheel-chair bound protagonist recalling his life during the British Empire and post war era; nostalgic for some past “Britishness” amidst a community unwittingly dysfunctional, snobbish, ignorant and bigoted. All changing with the passing of the Nationality Act in 1948, and the xenophobic reactions to a series of newcomers seen to be “infiltrators” somehow poisoning the respectability and (false) bonhomie of the original community. The protagonist trapped both physically and emotionally by his disability, remains stuck in a groove while unknown to him his wife is quietly helping the newcomers, whose responses after her death show deep intelligence, natural kindness and true neighbourliness. This insightful novella is at first an indictment of those who deny our long history of new settlements (Roman, Saxon, Viking and Norman) and the renaissance of culture and language they brought and finally a hymn to modern day multiculturalism. Ted’s final words are a warning to those who may wish to return to some perverse and cosy Britishness.

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