The Light Between Oceans – ML Stedman

the-light-between-oceans-ml-stedmanAnother sad story about the consequences of lies and guilt, set in Western Australia in the 1920s.

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The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

the-woman-upstairs-by-claire-messudIntrospective book about relationships (my favourite topic); a single woman teacher and a Lebanese-Parisian family of three. The “woman upstairs” is a female construct – quiet, polite and causes no trouble; because of putting oneself down, becomes invisible and discounted. There is a terrific section describing the difference between longing and desire.

Falling Angels by Barbara Gowdy

falling-angels-by-barbara-gowdyAnother dysfunctional family book with abusive father, an alcoholic mother who dropped/threw a child into Niagara Falls (postpartum depression?) and three sisters who are the focus (how children cope). There is a chapter entitled Disneyland which is superb black humour; the next chapter is heartbreaking. Gowdy also wrote Fearless about a 9 year old girl who is abducted; the abductor is delusional and obsessed but amazingly becomes somewhat sympathetic because he tries to suppress his pedophilic tendencies. Both these books are tough reads but excellent.