Hattie looks like she is set to have a miserable summer as her family are on holiday, her best friend Kat is at uni in Edinburgh and her friend with benefits (if you can call them that) Reuben has disappeared to Europe. When Hattie realises she is pregnant all she wants to do is run away from the idea so when her long lost Great-Aunt Gloria suggests a road trip she decides to go, even though Gloria is in the early stages of dementia and loves a Gin Sling or two, or three….
I have to admit this novel took a long time to grab my attention. Between Hattie’s constantly meandering thoughts and Gloria’s hostility I was beginning to loose patience with it. I was a third of the way through and the road trip hadn’t even started yet. However, when it did I found it hard to put it down.
Gloria doesn’t want to just reminisce, she wants to tell a very specific story about her (and Hattie’s) family but she will only reveal the details in order and when she thinks it is the right time. This creates a lot of suspense and unexpected twists. What is revealed is a story of love, fear, friendship, humour and compromise in the past and the present.
The novel is a lot deeper than I first realised and touches on every emotion a person will experience throughout life. To reveal certain topics would be to spoil the book but over all it is a story about relationships, opportunities missed and taken and the consequences of these actions. It is also about the relationship one has with one’s self. If your thoughts and memories were to cease to exists then would you also disappear?