Publishing year: 2013
I’ve just started this book, and I’m hooked.
The novel starts with a prologue in which somebody asks her mother not to go to the police. Then we get to know that the woman is Saffron, and her husband was murdered eighteen months ago but the culprit was never found. There are several references to that day as Saffron reminisces her relationship with Joel, her husband, all these years ago. I wonder what happened to Joel. As far as I’ve read, the writing makes me think that the murder was committed close to home. Maybe it was an accident, and Saffron’s daughter was somehow involved. That sounds a bit incredible to my ears, but that’s the impression I get.
Saffron has two children, Phoebe and Zane. Now she gets a big shock. The school calls Saffron and tells her that her fourteen-year-old daughter has confessed she’s pregnant. Saffron is naturally horrified and totally in shock. Things between Saffron and Phoebe are not smooth, and now that the girl is in trouble, she’s not more communicative. Saffron keeps referring to the day her husband was killed as the day her family disintegrated. Phoebe is a normal teenager who has made a terrible mistake, but instead of taking the hand her mother proffers, she becomes truculent and indifferent. I feel sorry for the girl, because I can imagine how scared she must feel. I also feel sorry for Saffron, who seems unable to cope with the situation. I think Saffron should stop blaming herself for what is happening to Phoebe. We know that Saffron has never suspected a thing since the girl was either at school or at home. Phoebe refuses to say who the father of her baby is, and I wonder if the father must be an adult. Maybe a teacher? Or who knows? For all we know, it could be Fynn, Joel’s friend.
Things can always be worse. Saffron receives a call from the nursing home her husband’s aunt is staying. Aunt Betty has been expelled from the home as she was found having sex with another resident in an office. Now Aunt Betty is to stay with Saffron and her children. Aunt Betty is definitely a breath of fresh air; she’s quite unconventional, and the children love her. I think she’s going to be a good addition, and I have the feeling she’s going to be the support Saffron needs to deal with her daughter and her pregnancy.