At the heart of "Once Upon a Hill" are the author's grandparents, Jack and Kate, whose sedate old age belies the turmoil of their early life together, and apart - they had to wait ten years to marry. For Glenn Patterson trying to make sense of this small-town life in a family dominated by a formidable matriarch becomes a detective story written against the reluctance of surviving family members to talk and the simple erosion of memory. It becomes, too, a revelation of how much his own life - not least his own mixed marriage - has been shaped by events decades before he was born. So "Once Upon a Hill" is part memoir, part all-of-themoir. It is the story of what happens when history tries to squeeze itself into a town of ten thousand people, most of them related somewhere down the line. It is about the consequences of violence and the conditions required for love to survive. It is a story of frailty, fortitude, and finally forgiveness. It includes footnotes.
Praise for this book
"Clear-eyed and compassionate." - Anne Enright
Used availability for Glenn Patterson's Once Upon a Hill
September 2008 : UK Hardback
September 2009 : UK Paperback