Article published on December 25, 2015.
If you are looking for a tense exciting story this is not for you. But if you enjoy curling up with a superb tale peopled by fascinating characters, read this absorbing book. It is a ‘feel good’ book.
A love story in every sense focussing on the close relationship between Joan and her son, John. Joan’s strikingly beautiful appearance attracts the opposite sex and she is a loving single parent. The author portrays magnificently the fun enjoyed when mother and son are together. A tragic accident on a treat to London for John’s 13th birthday throws that in jeopardy. Never have I read a better illustration of how a brief moment has the potential to change lives through no fault of the participants.
After long recuperation in hospital Joan and John return home scarred and impaired physically and psychologically. Their attempt to rebuild their lives is told with sensitivity and skill when a life plan can no longer be pursued. The writer changes the viewpoint and the time zone in alternating chapters and the reader has the fairly unique experience of seeing both points of view and added to the reader’s emotional involvement. The language has a poetic flow to it as befits such a slow meditative book. A book to get lost in.
There are no ‘baddies’ in this story, rather there are people with regrets and ‘if only’ feelings. I empathised with Joan and John willing everything to come right for them. An extremely moving story that lingers in the mind long after the last page has been read. A book written from the heart to such an extent I wonder if it was based on truth.
Sheila A Grant, Ayrshire
Group read 5
Altered Land by Jules Hardy
Pocket Books pbk Sept 2002