At its heart is the mother daughter relationship, the experience of being mothered and of mothering.
The book vividly describes a tough rural childhood, the feeling of being confined within the home and to home activities, and the physical experience of childbirth and periods.
As well as this vivid physicality there is a kind of underwater feel to some of the book which matches the obliqueness of memory and the numbing effect of trauma.
The book explores the effects of unresolved trauma on relationships and shows how it’s very difficult to parent in an open and honest way if you haven’t been parented that way yourself.
But ultimately it shows how you don’t have to know what to say or have everything dealt with, you can just tell your story, as honestly as you can, and that can be healing both for yourself and those who have been affected by you.
‘Back to the beginning, with illumination,’ is one of my favourite sayings, and is kind of how the story of the book felt to me.
I thought the scenes involving sex were well done. I liked the way every day things (feet when sleeping) or things which have been covered in stories many times (the peak of a relationship crisis) were described in a new and original way:
‘Sometimes I woke in strange places: at the top of the stairs, my toes caressing the abyss;’
‘…I wished for him to stop driving this long dark road, turn on the light and remake me with his gaze.’
Molly’s Instagram @molly.aitken is a good account to follow if you are interested in reading and writing, she shares details of the writing and publishing process in a very generous way.
Thank you for reading