Friday, 21 March 2014
Book Review: That Dark Remembered Day by Tom Vowler
It's 2012 and Stephen should be happy, he lives near the sea with a loving wife and child and has fulfilling job as a university technician. In fact he's angry, angry enough to risk losing his job when in a moment of madness he loses his temper. Now on suspension he is spending more and more time drinking in the pub. Then comes the phone call telling him his mother is ill and asking him to return to the place he has tried to forget. Something awful happened in Stephen's past, something that tore his family and town apart and changed several lives forever. Now he has to go back and face his memories and people who may not be ready to forgive.
In 1982 Mary hopes she is moving towards her dream life, her run down house and outbuildings need several repairs but in time she hopes they will be able to take on paying guests and live an increasingly self-sufficient lifestyle. Her teenage son Stephen is in his last year at school and has his first girlfriend, her daughter Jenny is about to start secondary school. They're just waiting for Richard, her husband to finish his last few days in the army. Then Argentina invades the Falkland Islands...
That Dark Remembered Day is an absorbing story of secrets and loss, lies and forgiveness. Beginning with Stephen's present day difficulties, the story switches to the past where first through Mary and later Richard we are led gradually but inevitably to the tragedy of that devastating day in 1983. This is an often anguishing read, the sense of isolation, both the physical and mental is almost palpable. I was lost in its pages unable to stop reading until the early hours of the morning. It's still early in the year but I know come December this will be on my list of the best books I've read in 2014. A disturbing but utterly compelling read.
My grateful thanks to the author and publishers for my copy received through Netgalley in return for my honest review.
That Dark Remembered Day is published by Headline.