Adam is a stay-at-home dad whose life revolves around his children – Miriam aged 15 and her younger sister, Rose. His wife, Emma, is a busy GP and they live a comfortable life in London. One day Adam gets a call asking him to come to the school – Miriam has collapsed in the school grounds and needed to be resuscitated by a passing teacher. There follows weeks in hospital and endless tests as doctors try to figure out what has happened to Miriam and if it is likely to happen again. Adam questions everything he once took for granted – he has spent his life nurturing his children and yet, despite his best efforts, Miriam almost died. He struggles to understand how to live in a world where a seemingly healthy fifteen year old can just stop breathing. How do you continue day after day with the knowledge that a child’s heart can simply stop beating?
I’m not normally one for domestic tales but I was completely engrossed in this novel. Adam and his wife suffer every parent’s nightmare but, despite their individual fears, the novel is never overwrought and I found their attempts to keep going and hold on to some semblance of family life for their younger daughter very moving. The novel is beautifully written and I found the whole theme of living with uncertainty very thought provoking.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.