- Ficha técnica
- RAYMOND NICKFORD
A literary and psychological suspense.
Aristo's obsessive need to trace and belong to his family - even though he was told they were all burnt and left unidentifiable during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus - has estranged his English wife, and is gradually distancing his only child while, in turn, Pavlos has an increasing need to feel he belongs to a father who will make time for him.
As the practices at Papas' late-night museum 'staff meetings' unfold themselves to Pavlos, the boy is led deeper into a sinister confrontation with what Papas calls his 'family', but which brings Pavlos, through the ancient face-masks and relics, to the unquiet souls of Greeks believed to have been thousands of years dead.
Both a father's and a son's need to belong, so long mutually exclusive, so long tested, are at the core of this novel.
Aristo's Family reflects the author's fascination, in all his books, with studies of troubled, lonely or dysfunctional characters in family life and other relationships who may nevertheless find that, ultimately, clouds can have a 'silver lining'. If life threatens to overwhelm, then it really is better to try and fail and, if necessary, 'keep' trying and, to a degree, keep failing, rather than not to try at all; so that if the end to a story is not happy - in the sentimental sense - then the book as a whole, just as Nature planned it, should be affirmative of life, uplifting.
" A few pages into this spellbinding novel by the amazing Raymond Nickford and I could not put it down. I was worried for the young Pavlos being held in the basement of his father?s private museum for the dead. A Cyprian archaeologist possessed by an obsession to connect with his ?family? supposedly burnt beyond recognition after the Turks invaded Cyprus, Aristo controls his son through nightly hypnotism. Why does the boy not run? I found myself at the edge of my seat willing Pavlos to leave. Get out of there!
Night visitors come to the small chilling museum, which is both claustrophobic and rich in imagery reminiscent of Poe with touches of Hitchcock.
This is a story about love sought and denied, about family both real and imagined, and about the hazy love-hate enemies we carry from the past. Aristo?s Family is a mystery within a mystery layered with unresolved longing and iced-over with love. This is a beautifully written literary work. "
Barbara Silkstone - author of My Fair Lizzy: A Pride and Prejudice Regency Variation
As I live part of the time in Cyprus, I thought this novel would be most interesting and from almost the first page, I found the style and voice of the novel atmospheric - a sure way to keep the reader hooked.
The story centres on a young Pavlos and his father Aristo; a museum curator and a Cyprian archaeologist with a burning obsession to connect with his family who were supposedly killed after the 1974 Turkish and Greek Cypriot war in Cyprus. The boy is controlled through nightly hypnotism and his father forces him to sit in the museum in the dead of night, to experience the visits from various people which he says are members of his past family.
Aristo spends all his time worrying over his obsession and not with his son who is the one who really needs him.
I found Aristo's imaginary 'family' is shifty and disturbing. They lived in isolated huts in the Troodos mountains at night, forever frozen in a bygone age, which the boy Pavlos finds spine-chilling. During the hypnotic trances and whenever his son come out of them Aristo is distant, not just preoccupied, and almost to the point of control by the people he claims to have met up in the mountain dwellings. Pavlos makes the observation that they betray some strange ancient habits.
This story is almost a Greek myth as well as being deeply rooted in modern Cyprus. The book is a mystery set within a mystery, very different from a lot of novels and is a beautifully written literary work. "
Faith Mortimer - author of The Green Room