Mr Mac and Me - Esther Freud

Esther Freud

Mr Mac and Me
2014, 296 pages, UK

In this novel Esther Freud paints a vivid portrait of a coastal village in Suffolk during the First World War, but also of an artist, the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The story, seen through the eyes of young Thomas Maggs, the son of the local tavern keeper, tells us about the unlikely friendship between Thomas and Mackintosh, or Mac, a stranger to the Suffolk region. Just as their friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared. All the summer guests flee the village and are replaced by soldiers on their way to war. As the townspeople increasingly feel the brutality of war, they become more and more suspicious of Mac and his eccentric behaviour. This is a beautiful and touching tale of family and friendship. It is as much about life in a small village during war time, as it is about Mac, who was such a misunderstood genius.