One of those rare short books I think I'll one day read again, like J.L. Carr's 'A Month in the Country' (for my money one of the best novels in English of the 20th century). Quiet, quietly humorous, wistful, about something real, slow, page-turning, mysterious (though you know what happens). It has that quality in a drawing that we prefer over the finished oil. A series of unfinished stories we haven't even seen begun, within one straightforward unearthing. Like the boat itself - oh, sorry, it is 'about' the discovery of the Sutton Hoo treasures - the stories remain forever beyond whole knowledge. Just as a King once ruled and was buried with all honour, so we know that people once dug him up. The lives of all remain a mystery.
Contains one of the most tender and beautiful love scenes in modern literature.
My thanks to Jody Tresidder for the recommendation.