As If I Were a River – Amanda Saint
The Last Word Review
Through 2016 we have seen some remarkable debut novels and As If I Were a River by Amanda Saint is one I am happy to add to the list of quite outstanding debuts.
One aspect of this novel is just how compelling read it turns out to be, when it arrived on my desk I have to admit I was not sure how the story would move, but I am delighted that it did land on my desk.
I like that every chapter was told by one of the three generations of women involved and each one really does just grab the reader’s attention. The story starts with Kate, and that one evening Jimmy her husband left to just go to the local shop to buy some cigarettes and failed to return. From this moment you feel like you are watching through a window helpless as Kate’s life goes out of control.
What Kate has to go through is quite startling as she now faces a similar abandonment scenario from when she was much younger as her mother also walked out on her. Kate now has to understand why her mother just left her to understand why Jimmy also walked out on her. Kate has not seen her mother for 25 years.
We then meet Laura and facing a tragic moment in her young life and now at the age of 20 has to cope with two children how Laura’s life just seems to have also abandoned her to pick up the pieces. Now facing some life changing decisions that will have profound consequences for herself and her family and the future.
The novel weaves its way from the 1970’s through to current day and we see how people cope in situations of one extreme of happiness to being left alone and then losing someone close in a tragic moment in their life. And add in secrets and lies and you have a recipe for a very dramatic story.
When we get to meet Una the grandmother and we soon understand that she is the key and some of information that leads a journey to the other side of the world for some and an emotional ending awaits.
The message that comes out of this story is that sometimes our past shapes our futures and how we handle situations that we find ourselves involved in. An emotional and tragic story that will move any reader. Saint’s writing allows the reader to become involved with the story and each reader will form their own opinion of the leading characters.
A beautiful story and an exceptional debut and I am now looking forward to seeing how Amanda Saint follows on for this.
As If I Were a River by Amanda Saint published by Urbane Publications was published on 11 April and is available to order through Waterstones and Amazon.