Rodge Glass - Hope For Newborns (3 stars)

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Rodge Glass - Hope For Newborns

(Faber)

SOCIAL DRAMA

After the success of debut No Fireworks, Rodge Glass returns to themes of lapsing Judaism, focusing on what it means to be British in an age where homeland pride is a misty-eyed memory, and an anomaly to third generation immigrants. Lewis is a young 20-something stifled by his feudal family and self-imposed reclusion; dividing his time between a soulless office job in which he secretly takes great satisfaction, duties in his father’s patriotic and besieged barber shop and caring for his defiantly mute and reticent mother. Having long dreamed of shelving his responsibilities and touring the globe, a convenient and quiet escape presents itself in a mysterious call to arms.

It can be a bleak read, though not unrelenting, and the humour is slight if observationally astute. Rather than the anticipated grand boy-meets-world travelogue, Hope For Newborns proves more kitchen sink in its scope and, true to life, offers no guarantee of resolution.

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