Sunday, 21 September 2014

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery

Thank you to Shaz's Book Blog and to Transworld for the competition prize of a copy of Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon.

"It was the day when everything stopped.

At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna's beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears.

Twenty years later, Anna still doesn't know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding - with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job - and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants.

Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister's disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer's day?"

This book was not at all what I had expected.  It focuses on Anna, twenty years after her sister's disappearance, as well as Anna and Rose's mother.  It shows the different ways that each member of Rose's family continues to struggle with the unexplained disappearance of Rose hanging over their lives, preventing them from living their lives to the full.

The story also jumps back to various points in the past and, like a jigsaw, allows you to see the bigger picture very slowly and piece by piece.  Linda Newbery does exceptionally well to weave each thread together in such a way that the reader understands what is happening but doesn't see the whole picture until the moment she wants you to.  

It is hard to give a truly honest opinion of this book without spoiling the ending for those of you who have not read the book yet, but all I will say is I found it hard to believe each family member's reaction to the answer they had all been waiting for for twenty years.  I understand the concept, and it is actually very clever, but I expected more fireworks and explosions and it left me with some unanswered questions.  

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