The Irresistable Inheritance of Wilberforce
Whereas Torday´s first hero in “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” was such a lovable, if somewhat awkward person, Wilberforce is the complete opposite and you can only take so much of him. He is also clumsy, but without any charm. Maybe the reason is, that we first meet him at the end of his life, ruined by alcoholism, near his imminent death.
And Torday takes the reader from this utterly desolate state of his hero´s life backwards. We learn, how he ruined his thriving computer business, caused a car accident that killed his wife, is obsessed with drinking expensive and rare wines.
And, I assume, in the end we read, how it all began, when he bought Caerlyon Hall, a rundown estate in Scotland, most importantly its famous wine cellar. But, to be honest, I couldn´t follow this guy Wilberforce to the beginnings of his career as an alcoholic, it was unendurable. Still Torday wrote a great story, it is just very hard to digest.