Review published on June 8, 2017.
Lucy Beresford refers to herself a ‘global storyteller’ and she is also a psychotherapist with a prominent media profile and wide discussion of sex and relationships.
So I should have expected her novel to be placed in the always intriguing country of self-discovery that is India.
There is a mysterious death when young army widow Sara is told her husband Mike (whose body it seems was never returned to the UK) was not blown up in Afghanistan but was last seen in India.
Sara’s occupation is also a psychotherapist, so when grief and now disbelief overcome her ability to survive in the UK, her boss sorts out a relocation to a clinic in Delhi.
However, Mike’s death is difficult to untangle and Sara becomes drawn to the worrying cases of young girls being used as prostitutes, openly raped and abused along with the ‘traditional’ cultural features such as arranged marriages and widows – still – committing suttee by burning themselves on pyres.
Rafi, son of the clinic owner, also takes Sara to experience the other side of Delhi – luxury, wealth and ignorance of the real world almost upon the doorsteps of the affluent and technologically advanced young Indians.
I was a bit unsure at the start of this novel but it pulls you (much like the cruel society with women) into a disturbing and emotional roller coaster of a plot.
The author has a wide-ranging descriptive style and an awareness of the bureaucracy and diplomacy in both India and the MOD, and the case of the soldier who ends up also ‘on the streets’ is dealt with an understanding of trauma and unplanned deceit.
A good read and one that book clubs will enjoy discussing.
Philipa Coughlan 4/4
Invisible Threads by Lucy Beresford
Quartet Books 9780704373853 hbk Jun 2017