The Offing review: timely lament for the crumbling best of England
Benjamin Myers’s state-of-nation tale paints grief and beauty and eroding shorelines
Benjamin Myers: His new novel’s lyricism is arresting and profoundly moving.
Early in The Offing, Benjamin Myers’s remarkable new novel, the protagonist Robert Appleyard regurgitates a mouthful of anti-German cant. The scene is a cottage at Robin Hood’s Bay on England’s Yorkshire coast; and the time is immediately after the end of the second World War.
Robert is barely 16, but his opinions are already conditioned by the trauma of conflict: by the sight of crippled men sent home to live as best they can in his Co Durham coalmining village; the greyness and pitiless austerity that have accompanied victory.