Rossiter’s debut novel seamlessly blends the lives and loves of Alice and her mother, Violet – an impressive feat when Alice’s story emerges from the wreckage of an Indian tsunami in 1971 and Violet’s harks back to the 1940s.
Desperately searching for her husband in the wreckage, Alice is upset by recent correspondence from Violet. Meanwhile, moving back in time, the young Violet runs wild as a tomboy in the idyllic rural village of Imber. She worships her friend Pete and struggles with her prim older sister Freda.
But tragedy strikes, and when the War Office appropriates the village, Violet’s traumatised family must relocate. The wounds caused by leaving the world she knew so well continue to haunt an adult Violet, marring her relationship with Alice. When distance and natural disaster threaten Violet’s tentative ties to her daughter, she finally faces her past.
Rossiter is a wonderful storyteller and this is an impressive, fluid and engaging debut.