1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A powerful debut,
This review is from: The Separation (Paperback)
I love prologues that are full of intrigue. It’s 1931 in Weston-super-Mare and we have a woman and a child on the beach. I wanted to know the significance of this scene and had questions. Who was the woman? What about the child? Why only one day?
Alternating narrative from mother (3rd person) and daughter (1st person) structures the story. Lydia from the time she returns to the abandoned home and from Emma we learn what happens from the moment of leaving. I loved this format and thought the 1st person and 3rd person worked really well. Both are strong characters who between them, provoke so many different emotions through their experiences. At times I felt powerless as both are swept up in pain and heartbreak not of their own making.
I was intrigued as to what motivated Alec and it’s not until we’re quite a way through the story that we find out what it is. I disliked Alec from the beginning for his selfishness and later on for the inability or even the desire to protect Emma.
Jack and Aldvil are both men with mettle and sincerity. These two characters add so much to the story – tying up loose ends, offering protection and a safe place. I didn’t expect one particular scene and had to re-read it. Honestly – had that really happened? No! Where would the story take me next? I could never predict what was going to happen in Malaya. Just when I thought I had it sussed, something major happened and changed things.
Malaya and the ‘ Emergency’ came to life for me through the author’s descriptive writing. The tension and the fear – not knowing what was waiting just off the roadside or if you would be snatched away. Senses come alive with the sounds, the heat, the smells and the people.
The Separation is a debut that is powerful. I’ve felt Lydia’s unbreakable bond with her children and the desperation as she tries to find out the truth. At times anxious and tense, at others curious and sometimes with tears falling silently, this is a story that has provoked such strong emotions in me. There is only one place it can have on my bookshelf.
I would like to thank the publishers for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.