Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
BookBar says: In 1944 a bomb explodes on a South London department store, killing five children on impact. But what might these children's lives have looked like if the bomb hadn't exploded and they had survived to live the lives destined for them?
Told through the next six decades, each a vignette that glimpses into each character's life in a series of intimate character studies, Light Perpetual also puts modern day Britain under the microscope through the turbulent post-war years, punk rock, Thatcherism and into the 21st century.
A complete masterpiece, this is a novel for anyone who loves exquisite writing, fully formed characters and social history.
It's a strong contender for our book of the year already and if it's not shortlisted for all the literary prizes we will eat our metaphorical hat. We highly recommend it for fans of William Boyd and Jonathan Franzen.