33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Imagining The Truth,
This review is from: The Gathering (Paperback)
I read this book in snatches while on holiday and found it moving and literary, without being pretentious.
Traumatised by the death of her brother Liam's suicide, Veronica trys to make sense of what has happened and come to terms with her own reactions and emotions, by raking over the past. In contrast to many other novels, in which history is communicated as a set of unambiguous facts, whose significance is readily apparent, it is explicit in The Gathering, and clear to Veronica herself, that she can only piece together her family's story through substantial recourse to her own imagination. This is not simply a story that can be told, it is a story that needs to be created by the central character. Factual evidence is thin on the ground and her own memory and interpretation of the past is partial and fractured - Veronica is acutely aware of this but refuses to settle for a half baked truth. Eventually her persistence results in a story that she believes in and her grief can then take proper form.
The story is melancholy, edgy and funny. Veronica is a capable, multi-dimensional central character, who plays many roles in her respectable, middle-class life: her inner-life reveals the true depth and fragility of human existence.