Author : Susan Elliot Wright
Title : What She Lost
Pages : 400
Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK
Publication date : March 9, 2017
Eleanor and her mother Marjorie have always had a difficult relationship and although they’ve tried, they have somehow just failed to connect.
Now Marjorie has Alzheimer’s, and as her memory fades, her grip on what she has kept hidden begins to loosen. When she calls her daughter to say, ‘There’s something I have to tell you’, Eleanor hopes this will be the moment she learns the truth about the terrible secret that has cast a shadow over both their lives.
But Marjorie’s memory is failing fast and she can’t recall what she wanted to say. Eleanor knows time is running out, and as she tries to gently uncover the truth before it becomes lost inside her mother’s mind forever, she begins to discover what really happened when she was a child – and why…
Eleanor and her mother, Marjorie, have always had a bit of a difficult relationship. Now Marjorie has Alzheimer’s. She’s convinced she needs to tell her daughter something but she can’t remember what it is. Is the secret Marjorie has been holding on to for so long the reason their relationship is so complicated?
The story starts with a prologue set in 1967 with Marjorie giving birth to a baby boy, Peter. But it’s clear from the start that Peter isn’t a healthy baby and something happens to him that rips the family apart. It’s not something Marjorie has ever been willing to talk about and Eleanor doesn’t remember.
Having had a bit of a complicated relationship myself with my mother and also having a grandmother suffering from dementia, I was a bit worried I might not be able to get through this book since it hit so close to home. Seeing Marjory struggle with losing her grip on her memories was sometimes hard to read yet I also found solace in her heartwarming friendship with Peggy. And the author has such a beautiful writing style that I soon found myself swept away in the lives of Marjorie, Eleanor and Peggy.
What She Lost is an incredibly moving and thought-provoking novel. At times it’s truly sad and heartbreaking, yet it’s also been sympathetically done as it deals with rather heavy topics ranging from mental health issues to dementia and teenage pregnancy. The characters are amazingly realistic and believable and I have no doubt they will stay with me for quite some time. This was my first introduction to the author but I can already safely say that it won’t be my last.
Many thanks to author Susan Elliot Wright for my copy, which I chose to review honestly!
What She Lost is available now!