This book, by Maggie O’Farrell, whilst not a taxing read, was compelling from the first page.
A husband, recently retired, goes out for the paper and doesn’t return. His disappearance brings home the three siblings to be with their mother and attempt to uncover what happened to their father. Each character’s life is revealed layer by layer, especially the three siblings – taking us back to childhood events and relationships that have shaped them, and led them to become the complex adults they now are. Somewhat disquieting for those of us with grown up children.
Then there is Gretta, their mother and Robert’s wife. Full of contraditions and impossibly blinkered when she chooses to be, you can feel the embarrassment she is capable of inducing. This is a warm and addictive look at a family, all of whom are struggling with their lives and their relationships with each other. The “plot” and the heatwave are almost incidental, you find yourself just willing them on.
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Thanks to our very well read friend Katrina for this review.