The Gap in the Curtain

In a voice that speaks of the social conventions of a gracious age as the normal circumstances of life, John Buchan introduces a strain in an eerie key. Into the calm atmosphere of a country weekend house-party, he filters in an experiment involving the ability to see into the future. A select group of the party join in a quasi-scientific attempt to ‘read’ the London Times front page as it will appear on a specific date the following year. Like the plot of Macbeth, the plots of the successive stories, following each of those who have ‘seen’, and is not quite believed, in the lives of those affected by the future news. This novel spins an enduring web of interest in the lives and characters overshadowed by knowing in part, but not in whole. Themed on the basic paradox of Calvinistic theology, The Gap in the Curtain gives scope for the exploration of the curious grey world where free will and fate seem to intermingle seamlessly in the lives of recognisably modern characters. With his characteristic clarity and well-reasoned writing, John Buchan sweeps the reader along a path of suspended disbelief and hope against cruel odds. The excitement builds and crashes like a tide as the life of each character is followed up, and the conclusion is sheer satisfaction for those who enjoy the usual hopeful twists and turns of a well-told Buchan tale.
Christine Drews, 2001

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