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The boy stepped out into the road. He stretched his arms out and his legs apart, making an X, palms facing the windscreen, the hands with a slight tremor that Jack only remembered later. His face had a questioning look that asked 'Why are you doing this to me?' Jack has been sleepwalking through his middle age. His wife has left him; his grown-up daughters no longer need him; and he rarely leaves his remote house on the east coast of Scotland. But when he is involved in an horrific accident, he is jolted out of his stupor, and embarks upon a new friendship that helps him to re-evaluate everything. Douglas is on the early morning Eurostar to Paris to have lunch with a woman he barely knows. Despite his responsibilities to family, work and friends, he is determined to risk everything for his obsession with a stranger. Angus is fifty-four. He has always prided himself on his happy marriage, his reliable car, his nice house, his stable career: there are no nasty surprises. But when a man thirty years his junior takes him to a stuffy room and tells him he no longer has a job, he finds himself suddenly in freefall. As a man without a profession, how does he now define himself?
As the three Henderson brothers head to their big childhood home in East Fortune for their annual summer gathering, they steel themselves against sibling rivalry, parental expectation and the vulnerability that comes with being with those who know you best. Intense, humane, humorous and subtle, East Fortune is a moving story about lives at the crossroads; about life and love, chance and hope - and how families survive.
James Runcie is the author of three novels, The Discovery of Chocolate, The Colour of Heaven and Canvey Island. He is also an award-winning film-maker and theatre director and has scripted several films for BBC Television. He directed a documentary following a year in the life of J.K. Rowling. James Runcie lives in St.Albans with his wife and two daughters.