The Whole Day Through
Length Of Time In Possession : around 8-12 months
This book is the third Patrick Gale I have read, following sister novels 'Notes From An Exhibition' and 'A Perfectly Good Man' both of which I greatly enjoyed. Separated into different intervals in everyday life (such as Lunch Break, and Evensong) it covers a longer, yet not wholly specified period.
I did struggle to identify why the book should be separated out in such a way as a device to weave the plot around, having considered it I think perhaps it is there to reflect how the life of a carer is often mapped out in such a way.
Laura and Ben find themselves reacquainted after a twenty year hiatus after each comes to Winchester to look after a relative, Laura her ailing mother and Ben his vulnerable younger brother.
Restrained and elegant, The Whole Day Through is a novel about yearning and loss, how tiny coincidental acts meant that the stars kept two people who were perfect for each other apart.
The writing is as high quality as I have come to expect from him, and he may eventually come to be one of few writers whose entire output I've read.
As a reader I understood the emotions conveyed so well, and yet, I felt almost cheated, cheated on, by the ending which was highly unsatisfactory!
I understand that real life is messy, and so it many ways it is an honest story about reality: real people, real situations. Life rarely turns out the way you plan, God laughs!
And yet, Patrick Gale, REALLY? Did you HAVE TO?
Verdict : 7/10
Destination : Shelves