It was a unanimous decision based upon our re-reading of the novels we’d chosen for our shortlist. A God in Ruins not only stood up to a second read but was the novel we all got something more from second time around. That something ranged between concerns about characterisation dissipating to sheer marvel at how Atkinson plants throughout the book the idea that this is fiction, moving effortlessly through the time and space of her world without ever sacrificing the story.
Inevitably we discussed the decision by the official panel not to include the book on their shortlist. We’re still baffled. However, that didn’t have a baring on our decision other than the fact that we believe A God in Ruins was the best book on the longlist, indeed was one of the books of 2015.