Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham
|Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham
|Category: General Fiction
|Reviewer: Louise Jones
|Summary: A single event in 1939 sends shockwaves to the present day, as two sisters struggle to reconcile their differences because of long-held family secrets.
|Date: November 2016
|Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
|External links: Author's website
A single event from the past has the power to create a chain-reaction that has powerful consequences in the future. This is a theme explored and expanded upon in Another Day Gone, the story of sisters Sara and Polly who, despite being close during childhood, have grown emotionally distant from one another after Polly discovers a devastating family secret. We join their story at the point where the prodigal sister, Polly, returns home after years of no contact with her family. Sarah contacts their old nanny Bridie in the hope of piecing together the family mystery and unearthing the secrets before it is too late, but Bridie's memory is failing and some secrets may be lost forever.
The story is told from multiple narratives, which build up a picture of events over time. The story works its way backward in time, examining the events that caused a ripple effect down to the present day. We know from the prologue that everything hinges on an event in 1939, when a man was hanged on the evidence of a young witness. The story fills in the gaps and pieces together the information so that we finally understand the full implications of that day.
The story has an interesting premise, but is not without its flaws. Firstly, I found that the story took a long time to get going, as the pace was slow in the early chapters. Sara was quite a dull and passive character in contrast with her sister Polly, and this made it hard to warm to her. As the story went on and Bridie took over the narrative, the story picked up pace and became more engaging. In contrast, Bridie's story was fascinating and it was so interesting to see how she developed as a character over the course of the book.
Terrorism is a strong theme running through the book, but the author is sometimes heavy handed in her approach to it. The story mainly centres on the IRA bombings, but more recent acts of terrorism like 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings have also been woven into the storyline in a most unsubtle way. The resulting narrative can feel preachy at times and prevents the story from flowing as well as it should.
Another Day Gone is a bold and intriguing story that rewards patient readers with a satisfying denouement. I'd love to read more of Eliza Graham's work and thank the publishers for my review copy.
Bookbag also enjoyed Graham's previous books, including the excellent The History Room.
You can read more book reviews or buy Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham at Amazon.com.
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