I love books, so why not review each one as I read them I thought. But when to start?
Well the answer is right now, and with Home Fires by Elizabeth Day. I came across this book by accident in many ways, I’m planning a Q&A with Elizabeth Day soon and knew her via her journalism,writing for newspapers and magazines as well as being funny and poignant on Twitter. That being said I had never read any of her books and so thought I should before doing it.
It took me two days to read. Home Fires wasn’t the book I was expecting, it was much more . . .
Whilst you may believe the book is about decline, one very rapid, in fact in seconds, the other gradual and slow, for me this wasn’t the main theme. It’s about life, it’s about the turmoil of ordinary lives that are in the vortex around these things. How the human condition plays against the inevitable and the avoidable.
Day crafts a study of an average families life, and asks the question is it better to have someone to blame or to know it’s the fault of the one you tried to find justice for. Can fear of being inadequate be overcome, can a relationship be shifted and set you free.The flight from suburban misery to reinvention played out against tragedy and victory.
Can relationships ever be as intense as how we perceive them. The unravelling of Caroline and her perception of her connection to Max, chipped away with each outside vignette of her truth and the eternal reality. Can Andrew be the guiding hand in moving on, the stoic hero who knows the picture perfect image is frayed and tattered.
Because the events of the story are so easy for readers to relate to Day has set us up to ride a rollercoaster of emotions with each protagonist, pity, anger, love, questioning as we move through the process of getting to know them. I found my siding with characters shifting with each page. The flash backs create changes. Oh it all makes sense now is something I returned to after each one.
Each character is explored, and delivers. The style used aids that flow. I read this book through chance. I know I’ll be adding more Elizabeth Day to my library (it is a library, I even hand-made the shelving that covers whole walls).