Since You Went Away
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Om Since You Went Away
Maisie Wilton, a middle aged foster mother whose family means everything to her, writes to her estranged sister Ruth to let her know that their mother has died. Impulsive Ruth, who has never quite seen eye to eye with Maisie, left her husband and two children for her Argentinian lover ten years ago and has not been in touch since.Maisie's letter sparks an ongoing correspondence in which Maisie not only recounts the story of their mother's deterioration and death, but through which the sisters gradually begin to understand something of each other and realise that there is no right or wrong way of viewing a situation, particularly where family relationships are concerned. The reader learns of the sisters' difficult father who has succeeded in alienating their brother as well as Ruth and, finally, Maisie - and what has made him the man he is. Ruth learns about a surprising secret in her mother's past as well as the fate of her children, at first refusing to accept that her running away was the cause of her son Ricky's descent into drug and alcohol addiction, despite Maisie's best efforts to support him.SINCE YOU WENT AWAY is a poignant story of family relationships and the cycle of life; what makes people the way they are, the tensions which this creates and the actions which follow: some choose to run away, some tend towards taking responsibility; some confront and some prefer to stay quiet; some are more able to forgive and forget. We are all a parent, a child, a sibling or all of these, and the issues explored in this highly accomplished and sensitive debut will resonate with all of us.