Darke by Rick Gekoski
Rick Gekoski: Dr James Darke is a wonderfully written, ferociously single-minded character
What kind of man shuts himself away from the world in late middle age, arranging for the knocker and bell to be removed from his front door and replaced with a spyhole? He dwells on the wisdom of great thinkers and poets, writes compulsively in his “coming of old age” diary, drinks copious amounts of exceedingly good wine and smokes the finest cigars.
Is this a man who is happy to look back on his career as a teacher and take comfort in having shaped young minds? Or who looks forward to the company of his daughter and grandchild? Of course it’s not. But despite the lengths to which Dr James Darke goes to in order to entomb himself, he just can’t kill off the persistence of love in his life. Darke is a wonderfully written, ferociously single-minded character whose sad attempt at self-exile concludes in a truly happy acceptance of the hand he’s been dealt.