Friday, September 20, 2013

Between a Mother and Her Child

Between A Mother and Her Child
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Originally published UK
US Publication: Berkley Publishing
September 3, 2013

Book Description
The poignant and touching BETWEEN A MOTHER AND HER CHILD is a story of heartbreaking loss, but ultimately, a story that shows that love truly can bring us back to life.

Twenty years after their impulsive marriage, Maggie and Bill Barrett are happily settled into the quiet comfort of their dream home with their three beautiful children.  Then, on December 26, 2004, after a joyous Christmas at home in London, their world is shattered when their eldest son Jake, on a gap-year sojourn across Asia, is killed in the horrific tsunami that left more than 100,000 people dead.

Maggie shuts down, incapable of connecting with her children or husband, or even sleeping most nights, with no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of their lives.  Feeling isolated, Bill leaves to try to discover peace on his own and Maggie is resentful of his ability to move on.  While separated, Maggie still feels that at some point they will reconnect if she can ever get over the loss of her first-born son. When Bill announces that he’s fallen for another woman, Maggie finally realizes that it’s time to move on, and she tries to put her family back together.

When Maggie’s sister Olivia visits from Australia, she sees the pain that Maggie is still experiencing and is desperate to help her beloved sister heal.  On a whim, Olivia is inspired when she reads an ad in the paper from a “mature, healthy, solvent lady” to be a housekeeper and companion to a family.  Maggie reluctantly agrees to meet the woman, Kate, after Olivia raves about her, and she becomes a fixture in the house almost immediately.  Kate has secrets and sorrows of her own, but her gentle caring has an immediate effect on the children – and on Maggie herself. 

With the addition of Kate, the whole family finally begins to move on, and as time passes and relationships change and reconfigure amongst the Barretts, the future finally looks brighter.

Idgie says:
Topping out at around 400 pages, this is a hearty read that you can dive into and expect to visit with for a while - really get to know the family. 

I often fear how a marriage might survive after the death of a child - the blame, anguish, anger, the shutting away of oneself, survival vs. sanity and continuing on living life.  Even with other children still alive and perhaps living under your roof you hear stories of families torn apart with the loss.

This is a story of that feared unraveling of family and a healing involving female bonding with a new housekeeper (who has her own secrets!) when Maggie's husband moves on to new wife and new family, leaving behind the already established but hurting one.  

This is a story of life as it really happens.