Nicholas Murray’s second novel is an elegant dissection of modern romantic mores. Christopher, a successful shopfitter specialising in transforming dilapidated London buildings into swanky bistros, is romantically involved with Carmen, a one-time academic now unhappily employed as a magazine-columnist. Jimmy, millionaire and virtuoso pianist with a laissez-faire attitude to life, seems to offer the fullfillment she seeks.
Remembering Carmen takes the form of Christopher’s ’memorial’ to his former love. Set in London, Nice, the Greek Isles and Tuscany, it is a beautifully-crafted and utterly convincing portrait of adultery and its repercussions. Murray tracks his characters through the worlds of classical music, journalism, fashion-modelling and architecture, and asks where contentment might be found in an increasingly complex yet superficial world. His is a humane, concise voice, informed by European culture yet soberly grounded in modern Britain; Remembering Carmen consolidates Nicholas Murray’s position as one of our most insightful and original new novelists.