The Way the Day Breaks by David Roberts

The Way the Day Breaks by David Roberts

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Set in Yorkshire in the 1980s, The Way the Day Breaks is a novel about family, love, memory and mental illness. We follow one family, mostly in car trips across the dales, as they discuss nature, speculate on the future, dream up get-rich schemes, laugh, quarrel and try to hold together. But there is a darker current running beneath this family's shared life.

The father, Sinclair, is approaching a manic episode, and life in the family becomes strained. The impact of his breakdown is heartbreaking and felt through the children down the years, especially by the youngest son, Michael. As formally inventive as it is narratively rich, the story unfolds in two modes, through dialogue and through the poetic reflections of Michael, some years later.

The Way the Day Breaks is one of the most moving, honest accounts of the way mental illness vibrates through the life of a family.