Megan Evens appears to have it all: brains, beauty, a successful career as a foreign correspondent. But deep down she is lonely and rootless. Pregnant, craving love but unable to trust after the destructive affair with her baby’s father she returns to the security of her birthplace in Wales. When Megan’s son is later diagnosed with a terminal condition, a degenerative, hereditary disease, everything she believed to be true about her origins is thrown into question. To save her son Megan must unearth the truth; she must excavate family history and memory. Enlisting the help of former colleague Jack North, a man with a secret of his own, Megan embarks on a journey of self discovery and into the heart of what it means to be a parent.
I was offered a review copy of the book by the author, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It’s published by a very small publisher, but it very much deserves a larger publisher who can get it on the high street shelves.
The heart of this story is about the relationships between mother and daughter, questioning what it means to be a parent. Megan and Elizabeth provide the central characters, and as we find out more about them, we also watch their relationship grow and evolve. It’s a story any mother or daughter will take something from.
The timing and setting of the story adds a fascinating layer. The story starts in 2048, where things are recognisable, whilst slightly different. It’s not the technological driven future of sci-fi books, nor is it instantly recognisable as a dystopia. There are, however, hints of something which has happened to change life completely for many people.
The second part of the story brings us back to 2015, where these events are explored in more detail. Whereas the first part tells us Megan’s story, with her journey into parenthood, and the pain of having an ill child, this second part belongs to Elizabeth, her mother. It allows us to explore her character more, set to the background of the events which changed her life.
Finally we return to Megan’s story, as she continues the fight for her son, and her own personal struggle to understand her past.
This is an interesting and emotional début, and is highly recommended.