I really loved this book. It chronicles 30 years of 2 families that live across the street from one another in Sheffield, England. All 9 of these characters are richly drawn and Hensher brings incredible humor and compassion to their stories. For my tastes, its form and writing style are pretty traditional. But this author shows that style does not need to be constantly reinvented to convey beauty and humanity. Of course, this novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, which I previously thought should have gone to the longlisted Netherland by Joseph Oneill (or at least to also shortlisted Sebastian Barry's Secret Scripture). But it would be tough for me now to decide between The Northern Clemency and Netherland.