My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Blurb from the back cover
As a volunteer as St Margaret's Hospice, eager and helpful Meryl is looking for a role in life. The arrival of Jamie, the son of a patient, may be just what she is after. He is charismatic, young and above all troubled.
Jamie's father has only days to live but between father and son is a lifetime of misunderstanding. With well-meaning Meryl hovering in the background, Jamie embarks on his long, dark night, facing the secrets, lies and heartbreaks behind his father's life. Could the most powerful legacy Jamie faces be an inability to love?
This is a powerful book and really good for a debut novel. The subject matter is quite close to my own heart in one way or another. Jamie's relationship with his father is non existant, filled with anger, fear, resentment and even shame he has no love lost with either of his parents.
The story jumps about a lot. We have James (Jamie's dad) as a boxer in the prime of his career, then it flips to him as his health deteriorates, to be im hospital. From Jamie as a child to then Jamie as a adult. Meryls life both inside the hospice and her homelife with her husband and some of their rituals. Margaret also features and we read about her past and then back to present day where she is now. There is no one main character I would say as the story gives us a bit of history and detail about them all but ultimately it is all about Jamie and his father.
I didn't like Jamie much as a character and couldn't really say I did for any of the others really as to some degree things about them annoyed me or wasn't worth a mention or second thought. I had moment of liking Meryl and certainly feeling sorry for her at one point.
The book conjures up many emotions which I think will be individual for each reader and effect how they feel about and enjoy the story. It is a genius way to write a book to be honest. I had things I really liked and parts of it I wasn't too sure about or left with questions so for me a respectable 3/5.
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