Review Blog

Aug 08 2019

The returns by Philip Salom

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Transit Lounge, 2019. ISBN: 9781925760262.
(Age: Adult) This is a book to be savoured, not read in a rush. It is full of the minutiae of daily life, intersections of people, conversations with strangers, and thoughts about books, reading and art. Trevor is a bookshop owner; he and his wife have drifted apart and she has just asked him to move out of their house. And by chance, Elizabeth, a face-blind book editor, has a room to let, though she had in mind a young woman as a lodger, not a middle-aged man who seems to want to reinvent himself as an artist. Gradually we learn more about these two unusual people - Trevor, as a boy was abandoned by his father, missing presumed dead; Elizabeth was largely neglected by her mother, wrapped up in the excesses of a Rajneesh cult. Now, strangely each finds themselves at the beck of a returned demanding parent.
The story is one of two people gradually learning more about each other and becoming more comfortable with each other. The developing friendship seems fragile at first, but maybe they might actually be good for each other . . .
This book is a delight to read, with its insights into friendship and loneliness, and way that people build better understanding through conversation and time together.
Helen Eddy

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