My enormous thanks to Lucy Irvine at Ipso Books for a copy of Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson in return for an honest review.
Missing Pieces will be published by Ipso, now Agora Books, on 21st June 2018 and is available for purchase here.
What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?
All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.
Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.
That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?
A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?
My Review of Missing Pieces
The Sadler family is in freefall after the death of Phoebe, with consequences that will last decades.
I’m seated here unable to write a review. I’m stunned after reading Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson. Stunned with grief at the events in this heart rending story. Stunned with astonishment at such a beautifully wrought work and stunned by my inadequacy at expressing what a powerful and utterly incredible experience it is to read Missing Pieces.
There’s a mystery and claustrophobia underpinning the narrative that the reader guesses at, making them almost complicit in the blame and guilt. The confined sense of rage, fear, obsession, love and devastation is enhanced by the narrow cast of characters so that I felt the level of crushing entrapment Linda experiences very vividly myself. The Sadler family is utterly extraordinary and simultaneously completely mundane, making the reader realise all too vividly that the Sadler lives, their relationships and their grief could happen to any one of us in the blink of an eye.
I loved the structure of the book, from the dated numbered days ‘after’ to the two distinct sections because they illustrated so clearly how the events reverberate through time. However, what impressed me most and gave me incredible joy, despite reading what is a devastating picture of grief, is the exquisite quality of the writing. Laura Pearson’s style is taut, intense, varied, smooth and natural. Not a word is wasted. She has the ability to look into the very souls of humanity in her characters and lay them bare for her readers to find themselves reflected. Hers is some of the most skilful writing I have read in a very long time.
I’m quite an emotional reader and felt an almost physical ache in my heart as I read. I fully expected I’d cry but I didn’t. Not because Missing Pieces isn’t emotional, but because I had the feeling that if I let myself give in to the emotions it was engendering in me, I might never recover.
If I’m honest, I feel somewhat overawed by Laura Pearson’s Missing Pieces. Its pure genius. It’s raw, vital and almost overwhelming. Outstanding.
About Laura Pearson