I have read every book this talented author has written and she never fails to deliver a story that has a powerful emotional impact.
This book is about Eleanor who has an unconventional, bohemian life living on a community farm on the North Yorkshire coast. She has a troubled relationship with her mother Marjorie. Recently Marjorie has been trying to tell her something important but frustratingly keeps forgetting what it is as Alzheimer’s is slowly stealing her memories.
The story is told in present day and in the past, going back to 1967. The reader gradually uncovers the secrets that fester at the heart of their relationship, secrets kept by both Eleanor and Marjorie and how they have shaped the lives of mother and daughter. The author is adept at capturing moments that illustrate their difficult relationship and I felt sad for both of them. This is quite a dark read, with themes of mental illness, disability and loss. It is haunting at times and I was riveted by the last 20 pages or so, which were gripping. Again I was reminded of Maggie O’Farrell who also writes so well about issues affecting women, particularly in the 60s and 70s. This is an intense, emotional but brilliantly written story.