Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home. Baxter is many things - raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur; but 'good patient' he is not. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare. Then he meets Gregory. Greg is just nineteen years old, but he has already suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going. Seeing the boy's pain, Baxter decides to take him under his wing. Together they embark on a spirited journey to the war graves of Northern France, for Baxter to pay tribute to the love of his life; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. As Baxter shares his memories, Gregory starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live every last second we have while we're here.
Baxter's Requiem is a feelgood tale for the modern age . . . There is a touching tenderness between the two men as their friendship develops and despite the up-to-date touches, there is something refreshingly old-fashioned about this book . . . Crow's prose is natural and the story moves along swiftly . . . It is an easy read with an edifying tale of men dealing with their difficulties at different points in their lives. - Irish Examiner
'The fact that this novel is so witty is incidental to how good it is - it has characters you care about deeply and a heart as big as a cathedral' Miles Jupp
'The finest love story I have read in years. Perfect I'd say.' Phyllida Shrimpton, author of Sunflowers in February
Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written for adults and YA. His book My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize.