Saturday, 16 August 2014

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery


Teenager Rose disappears from the garden during a summer afternoon.  There are no answers and no peace for her parents Sandra and Don Taverner and younger sister Anna.
In the present, Sandra seems to be unravelling at the prospect of finally moving home and losing the last point of connection with Rose.  

The gradual unveiling of the family secrets by moving backwards and forwards in time shows how snap decisions and thoughtless actions create family drama and tensions in the future.

The author skilfully portrays the hurt and pain of not knowing and the impact this has on all involved.  At first I found Anna, now in her thirties, to be an unsympathetic character, as she appears selfish, a bit of an outsider who is unwilling to commit.  However as the story unfolds and the reader is able to see the damage that Rose’s disappearance has done and the effect of continuous guilt and remorse, this drives her need to find answers and to resolve her ambiguous feelings towards Rose.

I don’t feel able to say much more without spoiling the slow build for others.  An emotional and thought-provoking read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld for my review copy.