"Tinkers" is Paul Harding's first novel. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2010 for this work. As the story begins, George lies on his death bed surrounded by his family. As he drifts from states of consciousness and sleep, his memories of the past become his eulogy, a saga of three generations. His grandfather was a minister, a tinker of souls. George's father, Howard was a traveling salesman, a tinker of wares. Howard often suffered epileptic spells and when they became too much for the family to handle, Howard left, fearing institutionalization. George marries and raises a family as a clock repairman, a tinker of time. As his end draws near, his melancholy increases and he sums up life as, "The ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it." Harding uses many writing styles including poetic passages. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to reflect.
Recommended by Pam Wiseman