Hope For Newborns

Hope for Newborns follows the story of 23-year-old Lewis Passman, a recruitment consultant in search of love. After serving in the army, Lewis’s grandfather founded the Victory Barber Shop in Manchester as a tribute to all things Great and British. But three generations later the shop is being attacked by anti-war protesters and Lewis isn’t sure which side he’s on any more. He spends half his time trying to save his broken family and the other half trying to escape it: his walls are full of glamorous places he wants to go, and his head full of dreams of adventures he’d like to have. So when he receives an invitation from a woman called Christy Columbus to join the charity Hope for Newborns, ‘designed to help you repair your own damaged life and the lives of others’, he finds it impossible to resist. Soon he’s keeping secrets, breaking the law, and imagining something much bigger than escape…Hope for Newborns is full of comedy and sadness and the complications of modern life without faith – a warm and funny love story about two young people who’ve seen enough of the world to know they want more from it than it wants to give.

The novel was originally published by Faber & Faber in July 2008, then again in June 2009 in paperback. Reviews of the book were more widespread than for No Fireworks, and it received good notices in the broadsheet press both north and south of the border. The Scotsman newspaper said: “ Every once in a while, a book will come along that has the power to linger in the imagination – to keep gnawing away at you hours and days after you put it down. Such is the case with Hope for Newborns.” The Independent called the novel “excellent” and The Guardian said: “Glass has written a compassionate and quietly comic study of a country which has forgotten how to take pride in itself.”

Here are links to some reviews, interviews and extracts relating to this novel from 2008 and 2009:

Nicholas Royale in The Independent – ‘There’s Nothing Funny About Rodge Glass’s Excellent ‘Comic’ Novel’
Roger Cox in The Scotsman – ‘Razor Sharp View of Confusion’
Alfred Hickling in The Guardian – ‘Pride of Place’
Keir Hind in The Skinny , interview/feature – ‘One to Watch’
NB: You can read the first chapter of Hope for Newborns, ‘Aftermath of an Attack’, on the ‘From Glasgow to Saturn’ website:
A further extract is published in the July 2008 Issue of online magazine 3am
An interview with Rodge by Katie Popperwell at City Life Magazine can be found here.
An interview with Rodge by Sharon Blackie of Two Raven Press can be found here.