Mr Mac And Me

By Esther Freud
Bloomsbury, €19.40,
ebook €13.39

Thomas Maggs is an awkward 13-year-old with a club foot whose parents run the Blue Anchor pub in a sleepy Suffolk village.

His life is abruptly turned upside down by two events; the arrival of a mysterious artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the outbreak of the First World War. ’Mac’ and his flame-haired wife Margaret soon become a source of fascination for young Thomas, and Freud tenderly explores this unlikely friendship and the parallels between the boy and the artist.

Both have a twisted foot, both feel compelled to capture the landscape around them on paper.

Freud has previously shown a rare gift for teenage first-person narrators and she again employs this to great advantage.

By using factual material about the impact of war on a small community, and about Macintosh’s own life and times, Freud creates a vivid fictional world that lingers in the memory long after the final page.


Lifestyle

As the clocks go ahead, so does your style. Corina Gaffney picks your new wardrobe heroesFashion forward: Spring fashion as the clocks change

Des O'Sullivan gives an overview of the changed dates for much-anticipated salesAntiques & FIne Art: What events are put on hold for now?

Virtual auctions a welcome distraction, writes Des O’SullivanBuyers adapt with ease to bid online while grounded

I wish I could write us all back in time, when we could pop to the shops without fear, when grandparents did not have to wave through a window at their grandchildren.Michelle Darmody: Recipes with simple ingredients

More From The Irish Examiner