The absence of Evelyn by Jackie Townsend

A book for the soul, with candid references to loneliness, love above all in unusual ways, relationship struggles and longing for identity. I enjoyed this one slowly, with endless cups of tea and crumble cakes.

Evelyn’s absence itself is a character in its own right, a strong presence paradoxically. I was especially imoressed by Townsend’s skill to bring such strong connections together through the memory of someone dear.

All characters are beautifully portrayed, each in his own right, with weaknesses and so many hopes. Somehow it seemed to me that the novel is a lot about hope. For Olivia hoping to find her identity by pursuing her dream. For Carlotta hoping to find her dad and the meaning of her own family relationships. For Rhonda is hoping to get some closure about the lies and truths throughout her life. For Marco is probably hoping he doesn’t ruin anyone else’s life like he mentioned it; though I believe his secret hope is to find himself again and accept the importance of relationship with his daughters.

This novel is deep and thoughtful like a cup of green tea at sunrise, with specs of wishful thinking and candid realisations. In a book club it could spark so many discussions. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys this type of writing, as describe throughout my review.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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