What a wonderful treat this book is. Notwithstanding is a nod to simpler times–an homage to the bucolic English country village of de Bernieres’ youth and its marvelously quirky and eccentric townspeople. Every character sweeps the reader in with their oddities, challenges, and charm. The book, a compilation of short stories, flows at the unhurried, smooth cadence of a quiet English PBS TV series and feels like a love letter from the author to his tribe.
It can be read at once. But I think the better approach is to rest it on your nightstand–like a perfect little present–to be “unwrapped” one story at a time when you need a shot—just a small dose—of simplicity and joy just before bed. Notwithstanding is a reminder of all the goodness that life, and community, and people have to offer.