by Patrick Gale
This is the first book I have read by this author, introduced to me by my Cornwall-dwelling aunt.
I found the characters engaging and believable, especially Rachel herself. I am not qualified to say whether the portrayal of someone with bipolar disorder is realistic or not, but it was certainly convincing. Family life rang true: a family is a household full of individuals, not some neat, packaged unit where everything functions according to pre-defined rules.
The story unfolds in a way that keeps the reader engaged but also waiting for more. It was clear, from early in the narrative, that some tragedy had befallen one of Rachel’s sons, Petroc, at a young age. But it is not until the very end that we find out the exact circumstances of his death. Gale himself had experienced such a loss, and is well qualified to show the effect this may have on a family.
I bought the latest Patrick Gale book from Liskeard’s local bookshop when I last visited my aunt. I am looking forward to reading it, after this.
28 May 2016: Re-read this book, having recommended it for our book group, where it scored 74%. I speed-read it , but then wishes I hadn’t. There is so much depth to Gale’s writing.