From the beginning I thought this novel was going to be just story of a mixed up family and the grownup children return home after the death of a parent play happy families to keep the pace. But this was not the case and was in no way predictable.
The story is of Rachel Kelly, a successful artist who is bipolar. The tale jumps back and forward in time and from several points of view, Rachel , her husband Anthony, a devout Quaker, their children and others known to them.
Each chapter begins with a gallery description of a piece of Rachel’s art, which adds a touch of realism.
It’s a moving tale of family and their struggles with their mothers condition and gives an insight into religion, mental illness and creativity.
I found this to be an absorbing and compelling read right from the beginning and while it has a difficult subject matter Patrick Gale has been gentle and sympathetic with it. A truly original novel and I enjoyed immensely.