In the fall of 1984, the Grand Hotel in the seaside town of Brighton, England, became ground zero for the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Nimbly weaving together fact and fiction, comedy and tragedy, here Jonathan Lee vividly reimagines those fateful days from the perspectives of three unforgettable characters—a young IRA bomb maker, the deputy hotel manager, and his teenage daughter—whose lives will be changed forever by the Prime Minister’s visit.
About High Dive
**Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle**
“Devastating . . . Inspired . . . We make so many complex emotional investments in the lives of Lee’s characters that it takes a monk’s restraint not to flip to the very end of the book before you get there.” —Jennifer Senior, New York Times
In September 1984, a bomb was planted at the Grand Hotel in the seaside town of Brighton, England, set to explode in twenty-four days when the British prime minister and her entire cabinet would be staying there. High Dive not only takes us inside this audacious assassination attempt—a decisive act of violence on the world stage—but also imagines its way into a group of unforgettable characters. Nimbly weaving together fact and fiction, comedy and tragedy, the story switches among the perspectives of Dan, a young IRA explosives expert; Moose, a former star athlete gone to seed, who is now the deputy hotel manager; and Freya, his teenage daughter, trying to decide what comes after high school. Over the course of a mere four weeks, as the prime minister’s arrival draws closer, each of their lives will be transformed forever.
A bold, astonishingly intimate novel of laughter and heartbreak, High Dive is a moving portrait of clashing loyalties, guilt and regret, and how individuals become the grist of history.
One of the Best Books of the Year The Wall Street Journal • The Washington Post • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Independent on Sunday • The Observer One of The New York Times “Critics’ Top Books” of the Year A Chicago Tribune “Biblioracle Book of the Year”
“Achingly good. . . . Lee displays a nimble metaphysical wit and a verbal ingenuity.” —The New Yorker
“Astonishingly well executed. . . . a beautifully realized novel about the intertwining of loyalty, family, ambition and politics.” —The Washington Post
“[A] brave, ambitious novel. . . . A mongrel blend of political thriller, dark comedy and pathos.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Vibrantly cinematic. . . . It takes a monk’s restraint not to flip to the very end of the book before you get there. . . . There’s great range and compassion and high-definition imagery in Mr. Lee’s writing.” —The New York Times
“Hauntingly atmospheric. . . . Lee is quite brilliant at excavating the disappointment of characters constantly chasing lost opportunities.” —The Guardian
“A tender story about the hopes and flaws of ordinary people made extraordinary by events.” —The New York Times Book Review