What I expected: another tense psychological thriller from Mackintosh. What I got was something quite different and quite remarkable.
Pip and Adam are happily married and delighted with their son Dylan. He's perfectly normal...until he isn't. At two, Dylan begins having headaches and stumbling and falling frequently. A brain tumor, surgery, chemotherapy, and more problems.
Handled with such skill and sensitivity, the heartbreaking story of a child and his parents never becomes maudlin. When the hospital decides that only palliative care is needed, both parents are devastated.
This is the story of Pip and Adam and Dylan. There is no hope of a good outcome--Dylan cannot be cured. Both parents love the child to distraction and have endured exhausting months of fear and sadness watching their son deteriorate. The dilemma they face is appalling, and when Pip and Adam can't agree on the way to proceed, the matter moves to the court system.
An unusual twist takes place after the court decision, "after the end." A powerful book that was nothing like what I expected, but was an emotional exploration of all the repercussions of love and loss and resilience.
(The tenderness with which Mackintosh writes is enormous and has something to do with her having lost a child to meningitis.)
Read in April; blog review scheduled for June 12.
Literary Fiction. June 25, 2019. Print length: 400 pages.