Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
Can grief ever be equally shared and understood
on 9 March 2017
I have just discovered Elizabeth Day and am enjoying reading her list - this one is a slow burner. Caroline and Andrew have one child, Max, a golden boy who decides against university in favour of joining the Army. His grandmother Elsa has always been a prickly character, imposing and cool but her love for Max allows her to see his need and champion his cause even against her bitter experience of her father, Horace, who returned from the Great War a twisted, damaged man.
We move between Elsa's life, and that of Caroline mainly, these two women are the backbone of the drama. Thoughtfully presented, and well researched on matters of war and uneasy peace; there are dangerous currents swirling around them, we must watch to see if can they recover themselves enough to press on with their days, even if for Caroline there seems little point in rejoining the real world and Elsa, very elderly and ill, has few left to count.
The sudden loss of Max affects all the family terribly, and this is what is so cleverly written by Ms Day. Does a mother's love count for more than a father's? How can two broken people support each other? How will they come to terms, if they ever can, with what has happened? Reminiscent of other successful women writers on this subject, Joanna Trollope, Anne Fine spring to mind as well as Pat Barker, I found this a deeply moving, touching read that made me think, what if, this happened to me/us...