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Well written.

I Came To Say Goodbye - Caroline Overington

 

I wasn't sure about this book at first, I was afraid the narrator was going to be difficult to read. But just 10% in, I was completely hooked. I read it in just 7hrs, during a long-haul flight; no TV/movies, my Kindle propped by my in-flight meal, I was totally absorbed.

 

Although set in Australia, there was a lot about this book that could have taken place in England, maybe about ten years earlier, but it was still very nostalgic. The narrator is Med, now in his late fifties, setting forth his whole life story in the hope of convincing a judge of his argument. We don't know what he is after until the end, but by that time we are enthralled by the ups and downs he and his family have suffered over the years.

 

Ms Overington has presented us with some excellent characterisations. In addition to Med, the father, there are his three offspring, Kat, Donna Faye (nick-named Fat) and son, Blue. Donna Faye's unfortunate loser boyfriend, Paul, completes the set, along with Med's wife Pat, who is no longer around but whose absence has long lasting effects.

 

The style of the book is interesting - we know from the start that a baby is abducted from a hospital nursery but it is well into the book that we finally discover whose baby this is and who has taken her and why. There is also an interesting mix of mental illness and overbearing authorities who take decisions from the parents, sometimes causing more problems than they solve.

 

An excellent read that should make for some interesting book club discussion.