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The Mill for Grinding Old People Young by Glenn Patterson

The Mill for Grinding Old People Young

By Glenn Patterson

In the cold dawn of Christmas Day 1897, Gilbert Rice, 85-years-old and in failing health, recounts his journey into manhood in a city on the cusp of great change. Belfast in the 1830s was a city in flux. Industrialisation had led to an increase in population as workers flocked to the newly created jobs. Gilbert, a young man with prospects, begins work with the Ballast Office, supervising Belfast Port. But in the course of his days - and nights - abroad in the town, Gilbert becomes aware of tensions old and new. When he meets Maria, a Polish exile from Russian persecution, he is drawn into a love affair that will drive him to an act that could change his life, and the town's, forever. "The Mill for Grinding Old People Young" is a brilliantly imaginative and moving historical novel. It evokes a vanished city that resonates powerfully with our contemporary anxieties.

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