This great debut novel tells a poignant story which deals with serious issues sensitively and without being melodramatic about it. Split between the early 60’s narrated by Maggie, a young woman who leaves home to follow her dream to make props for a theatre company, and 2008 – 2009 by Jonathan a teacher at a secondary school. Both tales are well written and successfully authentic.
If anything I enjoyed Jonathan’s story more than Maggie’s which is an accolade to the author’s ability to bring his story to life rather than focussing on that of Maggie’s which is mainly set in on a psychiatric ward unable to piece together what had led to her being there. The skilful way the author draws a picture of the surroundings, from the boarding house to the sea at Hastings, along with the edge of suspense to what is essentially a familiar story made it hard to believe this is the author’s first novel. I was particularly glad that this is one of those books which had a proper ending, one that I have to confess brought a tear to my eye.
Susan Elliot Wright is definitely an author I will be looking out for in the future.