Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Family Romance based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
After John Lanchester's mother died, he found out that she had been keeping a secret about her life since before he was born. In this book, he tells the story of her life, and his father's, and comes to an understanding of his parents as they were, why his mother had felt the need to keep the secret, and how the influence of that secret spread through her life. It's a fascinating story, and the book is sensitive, thoughtful, and honest - you sense that Lanchester has pored over all the scraps of evidence that his parents left behind. At the same time, though, I found it a little too intellectual - for example, the part about how his mother's life was limited by her secret is very moving - but only when you put the book down and think about it. His writing is so meticulous and detached that it's almost a barrier to emotional connection.