10/08/2009

Before we say Goodbye (by Louise Candlish)

I'd never heard of Louise Candlish. But when I was offered her book to review, by The Bookbag, it sounded exactly my kind of novel.

'Before we say goodbye' is a character-driven novel featuring Olivia, in the aftermath of her mother's death. She goes away for a weekend, to see if she can find someone she used to know... and the weekend turns into a week, then more than a month. She leaves behind her husband and teenage sons as she tries to come to terms with pain from her teenage years.

Past and present intertwine, with chapters written from both perspectives. There are also some chapters written from her husband Russell's point of view, which blended in nicely and helped me to get to know him.

I became very fond of a five-year-old girl who featured in much of the book, although I was a bit disappointed that Olivia's relationship with her sons was not really explored at all.

The writing is good, the story works well as the past and present gradually come together in Olivia's mind, enabling her to wake out of her emotional trance and make the right decision about her future. The ending of the novel was bittersweet but satisfying.

All in all, I enjoyed it very much. I shall be looking out for more books by this author!

My longer review of 'Before We Say Goodbye' can be read on the Bookbag site.

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