Flight by Isabel Ashdown
|Flight by Isabel Ashdown|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Some people lack the maternal gene and Wren Irving is one of them. When money came he way she walked out on her husband and six-month-old baby. Two decades later it's time for her to explain why. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: May 2015|
|Publisher: Myriad Editions|
|External links: Author's website|
Mothers are supposed to adore their children - to be willing to give up everything for them and to devote their lives to being mothers. But, for some people it doesn't work that way. Wren Irving, mother of six-month-old Phoebe had bought a ticket for the first-ever National Lottery draw in 1994 without telling her husband and she said nothing when her numbers came up. Instead she simply packed her bags as soon as she was alone and left - also alone. Later a letter would arrive from a solicitor saying that she had no intention of returning. Her husband Robert and best friend Laura were left to cope, to pick up the pieces and endure the vacuum.
Some twenty or so years later Robert and Laura have found happiness together, although Robert is still technically married to Wren and Laura is parent to Phoebe, but never called 'mother', just 'Laura'. Life seems settled, even though Laura suspects that Phoebe might be pregnant. Then Robert receives a letter which throws his life (and Laura's - when he finally manages to tell her) into turmoil. Laura decides to find Wren to get to the bottom of why she walked out on them all those years ago. The first lead comes when there's an article in the paper about the people who were the big winners in the first lottery draw.
Some women are naturally maternal: some are not. And those who are cannot understand those who lack the maternal gene. I suspect that Isabel Ashdown has the maternal gene but writes with sympathy and sensitivity about a woman who does not even understand it. Wren is cold and hard - on the outside - with her affection reserved for her two dogs. Laura is warm and maternal - her friendship with Wren was based on an attraction of opposites - but having a child of her own was something denied to her by circumstances. Robert and Laura first became friends as young children and Ashdown charts the development of the realtionshoip with skill. Their triangular relationship with Wren is delicately balanced and Ashdown does well to keep it credible and dynamic.
There is a neat twist in the book, but I'm afraid that I'm one of those people who lack the maternal gene and what had happened was obvious to me from early on. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story though - you don't read Ashdown for the surprise at the end of the book: you read her for her characters, the way that she evokes place and for the sheer quality of the writing. You read her because the words flow off the page and into your mind with little effort. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
We've reviewed several books by Isabel Ashdown. Every one of them makes a good read.
You can read more book reviews or buy Flight by Isabel Ashdown at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Flight by Isabel Ashdown at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.