Review written by Babs Simpson and reviewed live on the bookshowApril 2015
I have Maggie to thank for this wonderful book which came with her and Mary Deans recommendation. It is a brilliant piece of writing and a thought provoking, emotional and so believable story.
Frederick and Harriet wilde are loving grandparents providing a home for Scarlet 14, Theo 11 and Ben 4. The children are settled and happy at last after having witnessed a most terrible and shocking event – the murder of their mother by their father Joseph Scott. He is being released from prison after serving half his 9yr term for manslaughter and he is deperate to see his children again. He loves them and has missed the most dreadfully.
Harriet and Frederick of course are distraught. They loathe Joseph with an implacable hatred and will never ever forgive him for taking away their beautiful and talented daughter.
So the story develops and the real loser in all this is poor Scarlet who still suffers from terrible nightmares and tries to keep the peace between her grandparents and the father she knows she should hate but of whom she has such loving memories.
And as the story weaves in and out, so do the readers emotions and loyalties. To begin with, we see Joseph from Harriets point of view – cold hearter and the wilful destroyer of the wonder ful Zoe – then we are gradually led to feel some sympathy for him as a true picture of his marriage to zoe is revealed. And all the time our hearts ache for young Scarlet and all the horros the adults are loading on her narrow shoulders.
It has a good ending and is altogether probably my favourite book of last year.