Updated: Nov 22, 2021
The book totally blew me away. It is written by a woman from the point of view of a man. I have never understood why a female author would do this - until now. It is extraordinary how adeptly Kathleen MacMahon portrays her narrator David, a deeply complex character who is shamefully aware of his flaws and yet incapable of doing anything about them. He has recently been widowed and this book is in effect a eulogy to his perfect wife Mary-Rose who was tragically killed in a plane crash. And yet somehow we don't loathe or resent the perfect Mary -Rose and nor do we resent David for loving her so utterly. Quite the opposite in fact, I think I fell quite in love with him by the end and was definitely championing him and willing him to find some semblance of peace and happiness. And whilst the subject matter is somewhat melancholic the writing is so beautiful and his ramblings so humble and astute that I was hanging on his every word, often laughing out loud. And so I think I now get why MacMahon wanted to speak from his point of view, not just so she could unashamedly revere and idolise her female protagonist! But maybe it gave her the freedom to be more discerning with a narrator who is that much further removed from herself - the sceptical male journalist who suffered a loveless childhood and yet against all odds found the love of his life. An inspirational character and novel that I cannot recommend enough.