4 out of 5 stars
Alan Querry is a property developer based in the north of England. The company is doing ok at the moment but he has his hands full with that and visiting his mother who is in a home. What he doesn’t need is any more complications, but one of his daughters, Vanessa, Is suffering from depression again and has just broken her arm after falling down the stairs in her home in America. He decides he needs to get to America to see her and her boyfriend, Josh. He meets his other daughter, Helen, in New York and they get on the train to head upstate toSaratoga Springs where she is living with her boyfriend, Josh.
Over the next six days, they will slowly move around each other, probing for answers to questions that have not been asked, choosing not to reveal intimate details for fear of being seen as weak. They trawl through the history of the family in fleeting and shallow conversations. They talk about the divorce that Alan and Cathy went through just at the critical moment of their daughters’ upbringing, Cathy’s death a few years ago and why both daughters still dislike Alan’s current girlfriend, Candace.
It was a strange novel really. Not a lot happens in terms of action, it is really about the interaction between a father and his daughters and how the conversation circles round without any of them getting to the crux of the matter. It kind of reinforces the thing that I have heard that says children are for life, as he still worries for them and their prospects even though they are grown women and have children of their own. In some ways, it reminded me a little of Stoner, a well written, gentle viewing of family life, except this time a little more intense as it is set over six days, not a lifetime.