Magnetism by Ruth Figgest

Review published on March 6, 2018.

This is a good holiday read. It is set in America, where the author was brought up, and is an account of the relationships between family members, mainly a mother and daughter, in the years 1959 to 2015, including a number of historical events such as Hurricane Katrina and tornadoes.

The first chapter is set in a mental hospital ward in 1976 and the second jumps to the death of the mother in 2013. The reader needs to take notice of the dates at the beginning of the chapters, as the action moves backwards from 2011 to 1959 throughout the bulk of the book, reverting to 2013-2015 in the final chapters.

We read of the arguments between Caroline and Erica and the traumas they encounter, from car crashes to plastic surgery and possible cancer. At times, the characters are outrageous and continually ambivalent towards each other.

It is an entertaining romp of a story, but do not expect much depth. I found the format of working backwards through the years rather than forwards a bit of a gimmick and distraction, but it does give it a novelty factor.

Jan Jeffery 3/2

Magnetism by Ruth Figgest
Myriad Editions 9780995590069 pbk Mar 2018

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