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The End of the Day Reviews

The End of the Day by Bill Clegg

The End of the Day

Bill Clegg

3.83 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Yellow Jersey Press
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 1 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9780224102377

The second novel from Booker-longlisted Bill Clegg Following his acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg returns with a profoundly moving, emotionally resonant second novel about the complicated bonds and breaking points of family and friendship.

3 stars out of 5
Francesca Angelini
25 Oct 2020

"The novel succeeds in its aim of observing"

The novel succeeds in its aim of observing, quietly, the ways in which the past can derail the present, and how it can be laid to rest. Whatever life has dealt Clegg, it has made him a wise writer.


5 stars out of 5
25 Oct 2020

"a quietly devastating mystery novel"

The novel asks what binds people together, but mostly interrogates what tears them apart. Friendship is a “made mist that looked like matter”; Hap’s family “an elaborately painted mural”. Class is a dominant force: the Gosses’ existence is one in which “the rules and interpersonal dynamics were pre-determined”. Lupita’s father, their chauffeur, struggles in “a world where he was, if not invisible, translucent enough that people looked through him”. Clegg’s unspooling of the central mystery is masterful – its contours hinted at but its nucleus unexpected.

4 stars out of 5
4 Oct 2020

"an arresting and impressive second effort"

The End of the Day is really about a series of misunderstandings and how they blight the lives of the misunderstood, their children, friends and families. As the novel jumps back and forth between the early 1970s and the present, various sad consequences of past errors are revealed. And in its pacey final chapters The End of the Day becomes an exercise in human archaeology: the more ground the author digs up, the more his characters’ traumas and dysfunctions are revealed. Although the findings are not particularly heartening, Clegg directs the excavation ably, with his memorable expressions, low-key dialogue and easy juggling of time frames. It’s an arresting and impressive second effort.