Subtlety is sadly missing from many a modern novel but Jonathan Smith makes it seem easy and provides a lesson in how to evoke an era through intricate characterisation – and without graphic imagery. By centering the narrative on Gilbert Evans he is able to anchor it securely, while allowing the flamboyant characters, which give the book its sparkle, to float around it. A J Munnings is superbly evoked and Laura Knight’s part could almost be a biography of her and her work.
The recent film is good to watch but save your money and buy the novel instead.
It gives a wonderful account of how Morning Ride was painted and brings the landscape of Cornwall brilliantly to life.