Rating: 4 Stars
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.
It made me feel. I love books that make me really feel.
Despite the fact that these characters were at odds with each other consistently, I really felt for each of the women – Katie, Caroline and Mary – in a different way. Thinking back, it’s a fascinating feat, as these characters are all at odds with each other. I Identified with Katie as a girl struggling with who she is, and how she can come to terms with her own reality. I found Caroline to be an interesting middle character, working out her own issues on how she was raised, and how that’s taken a toll on her relationship with her daughter.
And Mary broke my heart, plain and simple as she reminded me of watching my grandfather go through similar mental struggles in his old age. I was very happy to have the flashbacks to look back at Mary’s life so we could better understand her character. It also made it difficult to read her deterioration, knowing what she was.
I would have enjoyed more back story about Caroline. She was such a pivotal figure in many ways, I felt I could have gotten to know her a little better throughout the piece with a few more interactions in her later lifetime.
The book did take a little time to get into it, and there were parts of the book that I felt were a little slower than others, but on the whole, a brilliant book about relationships.
I haven’t read any of Downham’s books, but I certainly would put her on my list of authors to watch. I enjoyed her writing style and the book left me with that little book hangover feeling that I love so much.
I’d recommend this book to those who really like realistic fiction and heavily character driven piece. 13+
Themes: family, resilience, forgiveness and loss