Written by Caitlin Marceau
Narrated by Linda Jones
Review by Ashley Lister
Miller has reluctantly agreed to spend a weekend with her estranged mother, Sylvie. There is clearly some family tension, partly because Sylvie doesn’t seem to have accepted her daughter’s sexuality, partly because parents have this way of screwing over their children. I suspect Caitlin Marceau is familiar with Philip Larkin’s poem ‘This Be The Verse’, which begins with the lines: They f*ck you up, your mum and dad/They many not mean to, but they do/They fuck you up, your mum and dad/And add some extra just for you.
Miller’s partner, Florence, tries to dissuade her from taking the trip, but Miller’s a good person and she doesn’t want to refute her mother’s extended olive branch.
All of which builds to a wonderful tension-fuelled, nerve-wracking weekend of terror, upset and mounting disquiet.
I simply adored this book. I felt empathy for Miller, I kept shouting at the book to tell her not to be bought in by her mother’s transparent manipulation. And then I started doubting my cruel dismissal of Sylvie’s motives as Miller empathised and made a compassionate argument to show that, perhaps, Sylvie had been misunderstood.
This was only a short audiobook, beautifully read by Linda Jones, but it’s going to stay with me for a long, long time.
This is Where We Talk Things Out is availble from Amazon.