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On Christmas Eve 1967, Rosemarie McDonald walks out the door of her suburban Melbourne home, leaving her husband behind to raise their four children: Deborah, the eldest at almost 13 and default mother; Robert, the compulsive worrier; James the peacemaker even at eight; and Meredith, the perpetual baby. Decades later, the children have forged their own families, but remain trapped in their original roles and are still somehow waiting for word from Rosemarie. When James rediscovers her on a trip to London, they are all faced with confronting their betrayer, and themselves, and possible forgiveness. Published under the title Listenin Veitch's native Australia, the novel's omniscient narration eavesdrops on the inner lives of each family member and their different ways of coping with abandonment-not all of them healthy. What emerges is a heartfelt yet unsentimental portrait of a family undone by a mother's desire, and its struggle to find ways to keep going and keep together. (June)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Veitch's debut novel is a compelling tale of a family fractured by abandonment. On Christmas eve 1967, Rosemarie McDonald, a young wife and mother, walks out of her family's home near Melbourne, Australia, and never returns. Over the next 40 years, her four children maintain close relationships with one another, establishing their own families and now helping to care for their aging father, whose grasp on reality is slipping. We meet the oldest, Deborah, authoritative and controlling; charming, artistic, and charismatic James; obsessive-compulsive Robert, always responsible; and the youngest, Meredith, flighty and fearful, all plagued by their mother's abandonment. Then James, in London on business, crosses paths with Rosemarie. The balance of the novel focuses on just how and when he will reintroduce his mother to his siblings. Veitch has written a powerful and engrossing story of family interactions complete with family members' frailties and strengths. Chockablock with rich, idiomatic Australian slang, this novel includes a glossary. Recommended for all fiction collections where Anita Shreve and Anne Tyler are popular.
Posted June 21, 2011
The book seemed long and not very interesting, so many characters, one could spend to much time on that alone. I read the entire book on vacation and was waiting for it to get better, which never happened. This is her first book and wish her luck with her future books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2008
Posted August 11, 2008
Posted December 9, 2008
On Christmas Eve 1967 in Melbourne Rosemarie McDonald tells her four preadolescent children (Deborah, Robert, James, and Meredith) she is stepping out to buy lights for the family yuletide tree. She never came home to the dismay of her four children. Instead, she flew to England her kids were raised by their father, who from that night forward pretended his wife was dead while Rosemarie never apparently took a backward glance to those she left behind who needed her.-------------- Four decades later, James meets his mother. Rosemarie who has always felt guilty about deserting her children know she must either flee into the night again or try to make amends as best as she can. Her adult children though they have families of their own never recovered from her vanishing as they learned loved ones leave and how to conceal any hurts.--------------- This family drama works because of the four adult children whose personalities differ as they coped with the abandonment in varying ways four decades later each has big relationship issues as they never recovered from their mom leaving. Rosemarie is terrific as she tries to hide her guilt and remorse from James, but fails. Although her spouse suffering from elderly dementia is somewhat removed from a confrontation with his kids and Rosemarie over welcoming back the person who betrayed them, Kate Veitch provides a strong relationship tale of a shattered family who may find it is too late to reconcile as defense mechanisms have become forty year habits.-------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2011
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Posted February 11, 2011
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