In The Perfect Order of Things, David Gilmour writes a quasi-autobiographical novel, with a narrator we are encouraged to view as being the voice of David Gilmour. However, he very carefully fashions a novel that jumps and skips lightly over moments in a life. Moments that are personally painful. Links to the present day appear through an examination of place, and revisiting a place years later triggers memories of that past event which shaped the narrator’s life profoundly.
I enjoyed the conversational and anecdotal writing in this novel. Because of the personal first person narrative, we are limited to one perspective, and the other characters are presented very enigmatically. Underlying the novel’s main arc, I felt this was a central theme, that we cannot ever know other people in our lives, we can only interpret their actions and words. This can end in tragedy when the people in our lives are troubled, as we see with the narrator’s father and his best friend.
Gilmour is to be commended on writing another deeply personal novel, in the vein of his bestseller The Film Club, yet with more substantial examination of life and how it’s lived.
The cover: I’d like to point out the beautiful jacket design. The imagery is stunning — the library cataloguing drawers, with the water subtly spilling out. A-plus!