Book review: Between Mother and Child
BOOK: Between a Mother and Her Child
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Noble
PUBLISHER: Penguin Aust
BETWEEN a Mother and Her Child is a wonderful story, but a word to the emotionally vulnerable and unwary - the sadness in this story is almost palpable.
It is a remarkable narrative that will captivate and ensnare the reader, while fully engaging the emotions.
The story begins following the separation of Bill and Maggie, who have raised three children and enjoyed a seemingly perfect marriage.
However, their marriage is unable to survive the tragic death of their eldest child, Jake, a victim of the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand.
Maggie and Bill deal with grief in entirely different ways, and these differences eventually fracture their marriage.
Bill confronts his grief head on, flying to Thailand twice to visit the site where Jake died and to help with re-building in the area. Maggie, however, mourns alone and in private.
Daughter Aly is also having trouble dealing with her sorrow, continually deferring her own confrontation with grief.
She feels almost apologetic about her feelings surrounding her brother's death as, while she has lost a sibling, she feels her parents' grief must be greater as they have lost a child.
Aly, too, is grieving in isolation, unable to communicate with either of her parents.
A visit by Maggie's beloved younger sister, Olivia, results in the arrival of Kate into the Barrett household.
Kate wants to be part of a family again and when Olivia contacts her after reading Kate's intriguing classified advertisement, she agrees to Olivia's suggestion that she help to try to mend Maggie's broken family.
This book highlights the abiding love that binds a mother and her child.
Ms Noble explores the many and complex relationships that occur within families and shows how the severing of these ties can impact all members of the immediate and extended family group.
It is a delicate and well-executed treatise that will have the reader utterly transfixed by the characters and their emotional journeys.