‘Still Here’ by Linda Grant

Honest and to the point, Linda Grant’s Still Here is a tale of migration, survival, ageing, a sense of belonging – and a middle-aged love story.

Set mostly in Liverpool, Alix is returning to her home city for the final days of her mother’s life. Living in France, Alix and twin brother Daniel (a lawyer in the city of their birth) have been made wealthy by the sale of the family cosmetics business. Arrogant, feisty, highly intelligent, Alix does not suffer fools gladly and, due to the history of the family in the city, can hold her own with any of the underworld bosses.

Joseph, refusing to accept that he is separated from his wife, is an American architect from Chicago building a luxury hotel in the city as Liverpool looks to reinvent itself at the end of the last century. The two meet through Daniel.

It’s an atypical love story, with neither particularly attracted to each other. Structured to reflect the separate lives of the two, Still Here intertwines personal histories, past and present. Alex, the daughter of a revered Liverpool family doctor and a kindertransport mother of renowned beauty whose family had established a pre-war Dresden cosmetic success. Joseph had fled the Vietnam draft and found himself in the Israeli IDF during the Yom Kippur War. It’s in Jerusalem he met his future wife, a Canadian christian on a trip to the Holy Land.

It’s a slow burn of a narrative as the two fiercely independent characters ebb and flow in their attraction to each other. Alix can open doors for Joseph in her home city as he struggles to deal with local ’customs’ as they both deal with the personal world around them. Set in cities in three continents reinventing themselves, Still Here is an engrossing and enjoyable drama.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.