Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: Missing Pieces

By Becky Gulc

‘What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon UK.)

What a debut novel! Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily pick up a book about loss and grief, I’m so pleased I was sent this book for review. It manages to be difficult to read for its raw and continued portrayal of grief but captivating and even hopeful at the same time.

The early chapters cover how the Sadler family are coping with the recent loss of their daughter and sister Phoebe. We don’t know what happened exactly, what we do know is they’re all coping very differently. Linda as the mum is really struggling, to the point at which she can almost no longer cope with life generally, never mind as a mother to her remaining child Esme and the child she is expecting. Tom as the father is trying his best to get back to a new sense of normal, but can his wife be part of this new normal or is he inadvertently trying to escape/distract from truly acknowledging life as it is? Life becomes destructive for both parents in very different ways. I very much felt for them all, particularly Esme.

The narrative worked for me, with the first half of the novel being set in the months after losing Phoebe, and the second half set twenty-something years later. Despite the synopsis, I forgot there would be a shift in time and the first half certainly has you on the edge of your seat as it draws to a close. I was pleased we got to see how life was treating Esme as a grown up, whether she’d been able to put the past behind her. The dynamic between Bea, her sister, and dad was interesting to explore in the second half and it offered hope in what was a very sad situation. We finally learn what happened to Phoebe.

Missing Pieces is a very well written novel, so moving and unapologetic in its exploration of grief. With a clever shift in the narrative it adds so much more to the story. I’d definitely read more by Laura Pearson.

Thanks to Agora Books for the book in exchange for an honest review and for including us on their blog tour.

Visit all the stops on the tour:

1 comment:

Janine said...

This was a good book