Monday, July 23, 2012

Memories Are Fragile

Damaskcat, a Top 50 Amazon Reviewer (ranks 19 in the UK) and participant in Vine Voice program, posted this 4-star review for Apart From Love:

4.0 out of 5 stars Memories are fragileJuly 23, 2012
This review is from: Apart From Love (Paperback)
Ben returns home when he hears his father, Lenny, has suffered a bizarre accident at his wedding to Anita - his second wife. Ben has never really stuck at anything and he has been estranged from his father because he blames Lenny for his mother, Natasha, leaving them. The story is told by Ben and Anita - two completely different characters who speak with different voices. Often if you read a book with different narrators it is quite difficult to tell them apart but this isn't the situation with this book. Both voices are distinctive; the educated but not really adult Ben and the uneducated but self aware Anita.

Ben and Anita are attracted to one another even though Ben does not approve of his father's remarriage. How both Ben and Anita deal with the discovery that Natasha has Alzheimer's and Lenny is looking after her makes interesting and at times poignant and upsetting reading. Memories are fragile as Lenny says as he records conversations and attempts to turn them into a book.

I really warmed to Anita as a character. She tried to make sense of what to her was an alien world. She truly loves Lenny and wants to fit in with his world. She has common sense and an understanding of people which Ben seems to lack. I found Ben an annoying character and frequently wanted to shake him and tell him to pull himself together even though I could understand where he was coming from. Anita was at least trying to make something of her life, but Ben wasn't even trying - or that's how it came over to me.

I did enjoy this book and thought it made both sad and amusing reading and I laughed and cried while I was reading it. I thought the passages about Natasha and her illness were very well done. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read something a little bit different from the normal run of fiction.