There is much to admire in this book. I loved the Britishness of it: situations, places and character archetypes that are so familiar from real life, but so unfamiliar on the page. The characters are beautifully done; subtle and believable. I was thoroughly rooted in the Dad, Rob’s, blinkered viewpoint. I particularly appreciated the moral complexity of the character Nev. It’s actually a wonderful love story, and there is one especially moving conversation towards the end.
But this is a hard subject. Most people may find it sweeps them up, but personally I could never quite relax into it. The story follows Rob and Anna, who have an idyllic life with their son Jack, until Jack faints and their perfect bubble is popped. As the story went on, I generally felt more uncomfortable, than involved. Awkward, than emotional. This may be an irrational response, but I didn’t want my heartstrings tugged by this fictional child, when there are so many real ones in the same situation.