If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

Jon McGregor

This is one of those novels that is hard to describe without the word “poignant,” as McGregor describes in fine detail the happenings on one block in a British city on one day that something tragic occurs with the block’s residents as witnesses. The build-up to this one event is a selective peering into of the neighbors’ secret troubles, fears, desires. His ability to bring depth to such a large cast is impressive.

One of those witnesses is a young girl who was in the process of packing that day to move house and, interspersed into the narration of that single day, is her first-person account of later finding out she is pregnant from a one-night stand and her struggle to find the support she needs. Though she is dealing with greater troubles, she has a hard time putting that day behind her.

The story seems to heading towards a predictable end, but then it turns out the real tragedy is something nobody witnessed.