Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Review: All That is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

Australian author Sara Foster is back. All That is Lost Between Us is a tale that is one part psychological suspense and one part a heartbreaking family drama. Anya, Callum, Georgia and Zac all make up a nice, normal middle class family unit but their current situation is anything but normal. Each family member has their own life, and their own secret that is separate from the others--daughter Georgia has experienced an ill-fated affair with an older man; father and husband Callum has been cheating on his wife with a younger woman; son Zac has feelings for his step-cousin Maddie and he knows a terrible secret about Georgia; and wife and mother Anya is struggling as she watches her family drift away from her. Add to the mix a crazy stalker, some bullies and a tragic hit and run, and the story takes some surprising twists and turns.

Reading All That is Lost Between Us was a little bit like peeling back the layers of an onion, as the inner lives of each of the main characters was slowly revealed against the cool and murky backdrop of the English countryside. With exception of Anya and Zac, I found the characters difficult to like and trust, but instead of detracting from the novel, that made the lives of characters like Callum, and even Sophia, far more interesting. I found Callum to be a character who took the easy way out, cheating on his wife when things were tough and then promptly dumping his mistress as soon as he decided that he wanted to reinvent himself as a family man--I actually felt just as bad for Danielle as I did for Anya as both women suffered through his selfish actions. And, of course, a good part of the story belongs to Georgia, who suffers a brutal punishment for doing what any teenage girl in her situation would have done, not being upfront about her age to impress an older man--and yes, her punishment is far more heartbreaking than simply being found out and dumped, as is the fact that her circumstances mean that she has to suffer in silence or risk losing everything that she has worked for. Then, of course, there is talk throughout the story of technology and how it can be misused--from websites designed for people looking for affairs, through to it being a tool that bullies can use to hurt others. 

An intriguing family drama. Recommended.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC.