December – Elizabeth H Winthrop

A book of two parts, the first a day by day account of the silence of Isabelle and her parents parallel struggles to find a way to deal with it and to break it; the second Isabelle’s own realisation that she needs to end her self-imposed silence, and her eventual escape.

I don’t agree with the back cover blurb that this novel is “Wholly involving and ultimately uplifting….”. For me part one went on too long, with seemingly endless examples of Isabelle and her parents’ suffering; part two was better, with a faster pace even if I found it hard to believe the trigger for Isabelle’s eventual utterances was enough to break such a destructive, controlling cycle.

I love the writings and quiet observations of Anne Tyler and Anita Brookner; this isn’t in the same league. link: December – Elizabeth H Winthrop