This must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
Published by Tinder Press
17th May 2016
Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.
He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago, and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?
It seems like forever since Maggie O’Farrell had a new book out (in fact it was only in 2013 but that seems like forever) and I have to say I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy to review here; in fact I got my mucky paws on one of only 50 limited editions of the book so it will always be special in that respect.
Anyway, I digress, let us go back to the book. This book looks at a relationship from two perpectives, that of Claudette, former actress now turned recluse, and her husband Daniel who has many of his own issues. When he learns something awful about a woman he once knew, Daniel feels compelled to go on his own journey of discovery. To go back to that time twenty years ago and to question whether he could have done anything differently. However by doing so he runs the risk of losing his marriage and his children, for Claudette is not the sort of woman to wait around for any man. In fact, no-one even knows where she is, or even if she is alive, having faked her own disappearance decades ago to escape the media hype that followed her every move.
As we keep up with Claudette in Ireland, and follow Daniel on a journey that takes him to his birthplace in America to face the family he has avoided seeing for years, and then back to England to lay his demons to rest, we go through both couple’s emotions as their relationship crumbles and both are left to continue on their own pathway in life.
Can there be a reconciliation between Claudette and Daniel, or does the past have too strong a grip on one person to ever let go and for our couple to realise that what they need has only ever been each other?
This is certainly up there with being one of, if not my, favourite Maggie O’Farrell novel. I love her way with words and her style of writing and I read through this in practically one sitting. If you haven’t discovered this fantastic writer yet, then I do recommend you do.
Miss Chapter x