Having loved Jane Feavers 'According to Ruth', I was curious to read her second novel 'An Inventory of Heaven'. I wasn't disappointed. The setting of this story is once again rural, but the protagonist is now an old lady, rather than the adolescent Ruth. These are refreshing heroines, who are flawed, not necessarily beautiful and posssibly, not even very nice.
Mavis's story gradually unfolds, moving between her childhood as a war time evacuee, living with an aunt in Devon and her return there as an adult. She carries a terrible secret that is challenged by the arrival of a single mother and her young son, Archie. Mavis's love for the boy is as touching as any more conventional love story, and the book wonderfully conveys the human yearning for love and acceptance.
Feavers language is fiercely poetic and original. Many images linger in my mind.She describes the end of a labour 'The crown of the baby's head was round as an eyeball, tight in its socket, but Joyce was there the moment it breached the muscle, popped out-as if for one terrible second it wasn't meant to-and behind it, a slimy rush of squid-like limbs.'
Jane Feaver is a great writer who deserves every recognition.