Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth a pioneer of British documentary photography. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain with the Royal Western Fusiliers, is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, part of a convoy taking equipment to the electricity plant at Kajaki. Only when Luke returns home to Scotland does Anne's secret story begin to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room.
Andrew O'Hagan is one of his generation's most exciting and most serious chroniclers of contemporary Britain. He has twice been nominated for the Man Booker Prize. He was voted one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. He has won the Los An