This book had quite a profound effect on me. It’s the story of a married couple, Charlotte and Henry, who are living in England in the 1960’s. Charlotte is an artist, but when she begins to have children, she goes through a depressed period and has difficulty painting or dealing with life as a mother and wife. Henry, having been born in India and who has never liked English weather, decides that it would help their family to move to Australia and start a new life there. Charlotte has no desire at all to leave her beloved England behind but is so worn out that she gives in.
While there was a part of me that could certainly relate to Charlotte’s struggles, my main sympathy was for Henry, who tried so hard to make life better for his family, even throughout his own difficulties. I can understand Charlotte being homesick as I know I would be, too, if I left all that was familiar. But home is where the heart is and she had her “heart” with her – her husband and little girls – and I feel that she was almost trying not to adjust to the new country. Regardless of how I felt about the decisions that Charlotte makes, I also cared for her and so very much wanted the best for them all. The author developed her characters magnificently and had great insight into their lives.
This is such a beautifully written piece of literature. I truly loved it. Ms. Bishop has written an honest, no bars held masterpiece. She knows how to capture her readers’ attention and hearts. The ending is shocking and heartbreaking and literally took my breath away. Most highly recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.