Two voices: a damaged mother, Josephine, remembering her past and failing to cope with the present, and her 10 year old daughter Claire, on the cusp of puberty, who takes good care of her younger brother Thomas. The publisher tells us of a dark secret which we discover on page 81, but 155 pages later it is all turned on it’s head and poor Josephine sinks into despair. She comes from a large Irish family of six siblings and has married a truly lovely man, Michael, but her drinking and depression defeat even him. Claire describes her life in minute detail and other than reacting to her mother’s mood swings she has little idea how tortured her mother is. Josephine gives us the storyline, her childhood, fleeing home, surviving in London, meeting her husband, having her children. Alcohol becomes her crutch and obviously her enemy till eventually she is forced to face her past. An interesting study of mental illness, the contrast of the two voices drives this novel forward to its bitter-sweet conclusion.
1980: Josephine flees her home in Ireland, hoping never to return. She starts a new, exciting life in London, but as much as she tries, she can't quite leave the trauma of her childhood behind. Seventeen years and two children later, Josephine gets a call from her sister to tell her that their mother is dying and wants to see her - a summons she can't refuse. 1997: Ten-year-old Clare is counting down to the summer holidays, when she is going to meet her grandparents in Ireland for the first time. She hopes this trip will put an end to her mum's dark moods - and drinking. But family secrets can't stay buried forever and following revelations in Ireland, everything starts to unravel. Have Josephine and her daughter passed the point of no return?
A very moving, authentic portrait of an Irish family with deep secrets -- Claire McGowan, author of the Paula Maguire series
It's been a long time since I found a book so utterly engaging and enveloping. Mental illness and the long-term effects of emotional and sexual abuse are drawn with insight and subtlety. The writing is vivid and raw, the characters real, and the voices of mother and daughter feel pitch-perfect. I raced through it, so immersed that it kept me up half the night. Charity Norman, bestselling author of AFTER THE FALL
Publication date: 05/04/2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
|Publication date:||5th April 2018|
|Publisher:||Allen & Unwin|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Relationship Stories, Weekly Staff Picks,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|