As he has done with masterful precision in each of his previous novels, Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight takes mystery and intrigue to a spellbinding level where every detail possesses significance and meaning beyond the moment of its revealing. Shortly after World War II, siblings Nathaniel and Rachel Williams are in their early teens when their parents must go abroad and place their children under the care of an enigmatic man named The Moth. Where their parents go upon leaving London remains as much a secret as The Moth himself and the various other figures who begin to frequent the lives of Nathaniel and Rachel. Nathaniel later discovers the dangers and consequences of his mother’s involvement in covert missions to gather data for British intelligence. Warlight is a brilliant and thrilling account of Nathaniel’s youth and of his attempts later in life to make sense of his memories and piece together fragments of clues about his mother’s elusive past. The elegance and beauty of Ondaatje’s prose assembles a mosaic of characters, scenes, and ideas that examine the intricacies of human loneliness and connection.

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