John Banville's "Ancient Light" is a story of obsessive young love and the power of grief. 'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.' In a small town in 1950s Ireland a fifteen-year-old boy has illicit meetings with a thirty-five-year-old woman - in the back of her car on sunny mornings, and in a rundown cottage in the country on rain-soaked afternoons. Unsure why she has chosen him, he becomes obsessed and tormented by this first love. Half a century later, actor Alexander Cleave - grieving for the recent loss of his daughter - recalls these trysts, trying to make sense of the boy he was and of the needs and frailties of the human heart. Praise for "Ancient Light": "Startlingly brilliant. Terrific - full of sadness and yearning". ("Sunday Telegraph"). "Dazzling ...captures a long-lost adolescent world of passion and desire". ("Independent"). "Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death". ("Financial Times"). John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen previous novels including "The Sea", which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize. He was recently awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Dublin.