Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery

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Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Anna's sister went missing in 1976 and twenty years later she still hasn't got over it. Her search for Rose provokes problems which she could never have foreseen.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: August 2014
Publisher: Doubleday
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857522498

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At a quarter past two on a Wednesday afternoon in August Rose disappeared - completely. It didn't look as though there had been a crime - there were no signs of violence and some of her clothes and a rucksack were missing. It was possible that she had simply gone of her own accord: she was beautiful, headstrong and just slightly wilful. Twenty years later her younger sister, Anna has still not come to terms with what happened and it's affecting her whole life. Her relationship with Martin is foundering and she can't make up her mind whether it's what she wants - or doesn't want, with probably a slight bias to the latter. Finally she decides that she must try and find Rose for herself.

Life had turned into before and after. Before Rose's disappearance everything was normal and happy. Afterwards, well you don't need me to spell it out. Was Rose dead? Every phone call, every ring of the doorbell produced a feeling of dread. Had a body been found? On one occasion Anna's parents had to go and 'identify' a body but it wasn't Rose. If it had been they might have had closure, but now they could cling to hope, still wonder what had happened. But they are tied to their home. What would happen if Rose came home and they had moved? Even twenty years on Anna's mother, Sandra has not come to terms with what happened. If anything it seems to be getting worse for her.

You'll have to trust Linda Newbery, but there's no risk in doing that. The plot moves about in time and place. Anna's mother is sometimes Sandra and sometimes Cassandra. Pay attention and you'll be rewarded because this story is very skillfully plotted. There are the merest hints as to what has happened but it's not until the final few pages that it all comes together in a very satisfying ending. The plot was perhaps just a little too slow moving for my taste but it's a very minor quibble.

The characters - particularly the women - come off the page and demand that you hear them out. It was Sandra who grabbed me most: she lost her brother when he was about the same age as Rose when she disappeared. She's carrying other secrets too and a burden of guilt which is beginning to affect her mentally. Anna, on the other hand, is in limbo - unable to commit to a relationship but searching for someone who is either dead or unworried about what she has done to her family. It's superb, thought-provoking stuff.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell and The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell.

Buy Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Quarter Past Two On A Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery at Amazon.com.


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