Another day another book, because, why not…
A friend and I have set up a bookclub, a small affair, it’s only 8 of us, all with grown up children to various degrees, different level of interest in books and what I find most fascinating… none of us really knows each other much. Yes, we have a few connection but I hadn’t met all the people she invited and vice versa. For me this gives the added bonus to get to know new interesting women AND hopefully we won’t just fall into the classic ‘let’s talk about books for five minutes and then just drink wine and gossip’. Nothing wrong with wine and chats (absolutely nothing!) but … books people, books…!!
Our first choice was “Whistle in the dark” by Emma Healey.
The story goes like this: Jen, mother to 15-year-old Lana – who has just been found after going missing for four desperate days. Lana can’t talk about the missing days. As her daughter’s life falls apart, Jen turns detective to discover what happened…
The best thing about this book, for me, is the description of the relationship between mother and daughter. Emma nails the teenager’s attitude and how she shuts down and lock her mother out, her silences (infuriation, if you have teenagers children you know what I mean!). She totally gets how frustrating it is for a mother simply ‘not knowing’ and being unable ‘to get through’, to talk ,to get answers, to communicate.
It’s also very funny in places without being ‘punnish’. It’s sad and moving too, Let’s just say that if you are looking for a book with a good story and that addresses some really serious issues like depression and suicide and relationships and families, without being too self involved and heavy this is for you.
If I have to be totally honest, there are a few ‘things’ I didn’t get, few plot bits that didn’t work for me, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it.
Emma’s first book is ‘Elizabeth is missing’… which is totally worth a read as well.. I saw Emma at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature last October and she seems totally delightful. The sort of person you’d want to meet for a coffee and a long chinwag. She writes for the Guardian. (here and here)