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Is she so bad?
on 29 September 2013
Despite wanting to berate Tessa for being so self absorbed I did also feel sympathy for her. Is she a bad mother, or just a mother having to deal with too many situations at once, any one of which would be quite a lot to deal with if they had come alone. I found it a fairly well observed tale of how a life can turn upside down in a moment, when all that is certain in life proves to be false. When she is given the information which shakes the foundations of her world, Tessa isn't given the whole story, but only because her mother is the only person who knows exactly what happened, and after all these years, even she is unsure of what happened in the days of her innocence. In reaching out to find some solid ground on which to rebuild her life, Tessa makes a series of bad decisions. Again they are only bad decisions because being too naive and trusting she doesn't realise that yet again she may not know the whole truth. My frustration with her came when she was so busy trying to make new relationships that she doesn't see the mounting problems within her own immediate family; when she is struggling with the conflicts she sees around her own parentage and doesn't recognise the parental problems her own children are dealing with.
Although I generally like a nice neat ending, with all the strands tidied up, I do like the slightly looser ending here. I liked the way Tessa comes to the realisation that what she is hearing may not be the whole truth, and seeks further enlightenment, even though what she is told is not what she really wants to hear. We are left with the possibility of problems in the future but are not given a tidy assurance that those problems are not going to happen, it is more realistic to be wondering if the events Tessa unwittingly set in train are going to turn up on her doorstep or if everything can be safely locked away. The truth is that no-one knows and she, along with everyone else involved is just going to have to get on with life and hope for the best.
Tessa isn't necessarily a bad mother, she is a flawed human being, who sometimes doesn't think straight, or get things right - just like the rest of us.