About The Book
When Gill and Gabe’s elder son drowns overseas, they decide they must hide the truth from their desperately unwell teenaged daughter. But as Gill begins to send letters from her dead son to his sister, the increasingly elaborate lie threatens to prove more dangerous than the truth.
A novel about family, food, grief, and hope, this gripping, lyrical story moves between Tasmania and London, exploring the many ways that a family can break down – and the unexpected ways that it can be put back together.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the synopsis, it sounded so different to the books I usually read. I know, after finishing it, that it will be one of those books that I will be thinking about for a long time.
A family who are grieving, where each family member is grieving in their own way. Gabe is in England, where Dougie died, trying to understand why. He spends hours on the internet looking at equipment, the rescuers,similar cases and drinking heavily with Rosa who was Dougie’s girlfriend and who was rescued from the cave where Dougie died. Gill is trying to convince herself and her desperately ill daughter Sylvie that Dougie is still alive by writing him letters. And she is cooking some unusual dishes and making them extremely personal. Teddy is grieving alone. Trying to support his mother and sister, missing his father and brother and convincing an oblivious PapaBee to help him.
Whilst I had a lot of sympathy for all of them it was Teddy who touched my heart. Always having to fight a lot more for attention when life was normal it was even harder for him with a brother dead and a sister who would prefer to be. He is determined to find out why Sylvie was refusing to eat and whilst he seems to be failing she is listening and it is evident that she was a lot stronger than her parents think.
I also had a lot of appreciation of the storyline involving PapaBee. It was easy to see his confusion and the chaos it caused but I felt that his situation was handled with a lot of honesty and I could visualise clearly the sometimes humorous, sometimes worrying scenes.
It could have been depressing but it wasn’t. Instead it felt like an honest approach to grief with the memories, acceptance and guilt at occasionally being able to laugh or for a few minutes have what seems to be a normal day.
Absolutely wonderful, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to everybody.