Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford, review — the Golden Hill novelist on life after a V2 rocket

Francis Spufford’s dazzling debut novel, Golden Hill (2016), opened with a ship approaching colonial New York in November 1746 with seemingly interminable slowness. Light Perpetual, its keenly awaited successor, opens with a V2 rocket bomb approaching war-battered London in November 1944 with what seems unimaginable velocity. Detonating within a ten-thousandth of a second, it obliterates a Woolworths store, reducing shoppers to particles. Among those killed are five children. The book goes on to give them alternative futures.

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