Thursday 2 September 2021

Love And Missed by Susie Boyt BLOG TOUR #LoveAndMissed @SusieBoyt @ViragoBooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


When your beloved daughter is lost in the fog of addiction and you make off with her baby in order to save the day, can willpower and a daring creative zeal carry you through ?

Examining the limits, disappointments and excesses of love in all its forms, this marvellously absorbing novel, full of insight and compassion, delights as much as it disturbs.

Love And Missed by Susie Boyt was published in hardback on 26 August 2021 by Virago. The paperback will be published in June next year.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour.

Love and Missed is a short novel at just under two hundred pages, but it packs a massive emotional punch to the reader. This is a beautifully perceptive story, character led and touching on some dark issues. 

Ruth is a school teacher. She brought up her daughter Eleanor on her own. Their bond was always strong, with a deep love shared between them. Just before Eleanor turned fourteen, she changed. She began to stay out at night, she didn't connect with Ruth anymore, the relationship was broken.

The novel begins as Ruth rescues Eleanor's baby daughter Lily. She takes her away from Eleanor and her boyfriend Ben who are both addicts. Their home is dirty and filled with unsavoury characters. It's not a place for a child. 

The author then details Ruth and Lily's life together, their incredible relationship is a joy to read about, but the spectre of Eleanor is always around. Whilst she does not physically feature in the story so much, her presence is always felt, especially by Ruth. Ruth is a woman who has no feelings of self-worth. Despite the fact that Lily adores her, and that she is respected by her colleagues and has a handful of friends, she feels as though she is of no use. Her overwhelming feelings of failure when thinking of Eleanor overshadow everything else in her life. Except, that is, for Lily, who becomes her life. 

Boyt's control of language and her pacing of the story is immaculately done. Her words are sparse but written with passion and so much meaning. The incredible love of these female relationships shine so brightly from the pages, along with the heartbreaks, the disappointments and the ultimate sadness. 

The author's insight and perceptions are startling at times, and the reader will urge both Ruth and Lily along, desperately hoping for reconciliations and happiness. We are often disappointed, along with the characters, but it is always so beautifully and sensitively handled. 

An utter joy to read. A book that touched me deeply and one that I highly recommend. 

Susie Boyt is the author of six acclaimed novels and the much-loved memoir My Judy Garland Life which was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize, staged at the Nottingham Playhouse and serialised on BBC Radio 4. 

She recently edited The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories by Henry James and writes columns and reviews for publications ranging from the Financial Times to American Vogue. 

Boyt is a director at the Hampstead Theatre in London. 

She also works for Cruse Bereavement Care. 

She is the daughter of Lucian Freud and the great granddaughter of Sigmund Freud.

Twitter @SusieBoyt

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