James Wood’s “Upstate” is my kind of book. Not just the kind of book I like to read, but the kind of book I’d like to write. In many ways it is the kind of book I do write.

It’s modest, undramatic (in terms of no false and phoney events and cliff-hangers); it’s about people, and how they interact, and what they do. It’s about life and living – and real life and real living. And against difficult circumstances, it’s just a little bit optimistic.

That it’s well-written helps of course, and I love the way the story leads you in to believing it’s about one thing – one character – when all along it’s really about one of the others… But no spoilers here! If you want an intelligent read, I just recommend it.

It feels strange to be saying this, but if you’ve read and liked “Upstate”, please read my “At Maunston Quay”… And vice versa, of course!