Edward Morton, a blind translator, arrives at the Oak, an ailing spa hotel in the west of England, intending to stay for a few days to visit his family and to work. The manager of the Oak, Malcolm Caldecott, is preparing for the closure of the hotel, and for the visit of Stephanie, the daughter he has not seen for eight years. Eloni Dobra, a chambermaid at the Oak, is striving to establish a life in England, and to free herself of a burden that is crucial to her relationship both with her employer and with Edward Morton.
As the nature of that burden becomes clearer, each of these four protagonists and the absent fifth – Morton’s lover – move towards a crisis and, like the Oak itself, towards an uncertain future.Spanning the last three weeks of the Oak’s existence, Invisible explores multiple voices – voices in conversation, voices in writing, on tape, in memory.
It’s an investigation of our perception of the world and our place in it, of the pleasures and deceptions of the senses, of the uses of language, of the lure of nostalgia and the difficulties of living in the present.Above all, like Buckley’s previous novel, Ghost MacIndoe, it’s a lyrical celebration of the transient, and an original study of love.
Praise for INVISIBLE
It’s through …meticulously rendered detail that Buckley achieves some of his finest effects, recording the shimmering variety of life in prose more reflective and leisurely than is common in contemporary fiction …Invisible is a wise and subtly balanced exploration of human relationships, a compassionate tale in which love, if not exactly triumphant, nevertheless contrives to have the last word.
…full of subtle, emotional dramas rather than spectacular incident. Little actually happens but very little needs to happen in this thoughtful, accomplished and beautifully written study.
The Mail on Sunday
A poetic musing on the strangeness of human ties and the tenuousness of intimacy …vividly drawn, quietly melancholy.
The Daily Telegraph
Invisible explores a number of themes – isolation, exile, the treacherous brevity of the present, the sweet irretrievability of the past – handling them so lightly that they scarcely seem like themes at all …It is a deceptively simple novel, so patient in its observations and so natural in its rhythm and texture, that it makes many more dramatic novels look needlessly contrived.
The Times Literary Supplement
…real depth and power …a fascinating and beautifully written book.
The Irish Independent
This is a novel to luxuriate in …to absorb the minutely crafted images, the sensitively drawn relationships, the melancholic beauty of the atmosphere …Like a bottle of fine wine or a tender aria, Invisible is a pleasure that must not be rushed.
The Sunday Business Post
With its observational prowess and stubborn refusal to up the pace, Buckley’s novel fights a rearguard action in defence of sensitivity and gentleness, its pages shot through with a determination to notice things too often left ignored.