Another enthralling read from Rosie Thomas, this woman is such a good writer of fiction. Her research is detailed and the atmosphere and settings she evokes are vivid.
The story of Dinah's need to search for the daughter she had adopted at birth, the breakdown and rebuilding of her relationship with her husband, Matt, and the seamlessly woven-in story of Milly form a narrative that is involving and emotionally detailed.
Most accurate, to me, is the breakdown that Dinah goes through when she once again connects with Sarah, the child she gave away. There is a stark reality in the way she is totally conscious of what she is doing at the same time as knowing that she is out of control.
Norfolk, while only detailed in relevant small parts, is brilliantly evoked as a background both physical and emotional. This is where Rosie Thomas excels; she can fuse place and emotion into a background that enhances each story she tells.
A mass of great characters here: Dinah, Matt; the children are highly believable; Milly is a wonderful invention based so much on those almost-damaged children who rebel. The gradual revealing of Ed and Sandra is a rewarding portrayal of parents. Sarah is delineated with just enough detail to make her real without dominating her part of the story, which would have been wrong.
It is interesting to compare this with "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" which tells almost the same story in a different fashion. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the style of the two novels, but I would highly recommend reading both of them.