Saturday, 15 December 2012

A mile of river

Quickie about 'A Mile of River' by Judith Allnatt which I have been listening to on audiobook while knitting Dunk's cable jumper.
This was a bit of a nostalgia trip for me, set in the summer of 1976 (oh yes, I remember it well), I particularly enjoyed the bit about going to the fair, which was a significant feature of my own childhood. So Jess is a teenager, struggling with exams and other teenage stuff, as well as caring for her younger brother and father on their family farm. And missing her mother, who apparently abandoned them many years ago. Under the oppressive heat of the summer all sorts of things come to a head in her life as the farm struggles to cope and her determination to find out what became of her mother brings all sorts of stuff out of the woodwork. It is a lovely period piece, the atmosphere of the time, you notice some things that have been transformed by modern life and so many things that are exactly the same. It is a vivid portrayal of her fraught relationship with her father and the close and caring one with her brother, while all the time she is trying to get on with the process of growing up. She is a wonderful character, full of both strengths and weaknesses that makes her real and engaging. She has spent so long taking responsibility for things that when tragedy strikes she has to learn the hard way to trust others and accept help. 
Despite the fact that one of the tapes was so worn I had to miss it out, and it had a vital part of the plot on it, it was a lovely coming-of-age tale.

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