Step Nagy creates a carefully structured world in an orderly era, before introducing the fault-lines which lead to that world being sundered.
A successful novelist creates a believable universe for his characters to inhabit, so that the reader can step into that imaginary place and relate to the triumphs and travails of the people who live there.
Seven – the island summer home of a wealthy American family – is the world Nagy creates in his debut novel. It’s a place where everybody – rich and poor, young and old, male and female – is explicitly aware of their role in society. The Hilsingers exist at the apex of society; nevertheless, life is sufficiently pleasant to ensure the co-operation and co-option of every islander.
This summer idyll exists out of the reach of telephones, providing the inhabitants with a refuge from the world outside. However, the outside world has a way of catching up with you and the author carefully exposes a multi-stranded story of flawed people caught up in power-struggles and betrayals, before being tested by the weight of social and political expectation.