Review published on October 14, 2016.
This is a novel about grief and guilt and the different ways in which people try to deal with those two emotions. It is tightly plotted and suspenseful.
The main character, Maris, receives a call one evening from Ron, the father of the boy convicted of murdering her daughter. Ron is about to jump from a bridge in a twisted attempt to show his guilt and remorse for the actions of his son. How should Maris react to this? She is still raw with grief and barely coping with her own life.
We follow Maris’s journey as she slowly rebuilds her life – on her own terms. At first, she just wants “to stay numb, to simply give up and die in the house rather than venturing out into the world again.” I thought the depiction of her grief and guilt was very realistic and sympathetically portrayed. Similarly, Ron’s feelings about what his son has done are treated with sympathy and respect. How do you come to terms with the idea that your son is a murderer?
This is only Sophie Littlefield’s second novel, but she has already been nominated for awards in America. I shall look out for her first novel, The Moon Pool, and for any future work.
Maddy Broome 4/3
The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield
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