Eliza Henry Jones’s novel is rather beautiful. It is a quiet novel; contemplative, observant and touching.
Her book is written from the perspective of Cate, a mother of three teenage children, wife to Bass, sister, friend, as she hovers in the nether following a tragic riding accident on her treasured prize horse Opal.
Cate observes – tuning in and out in this ‘other’ place – to the lives of her loved ones as they try and piece together their existence without her. How her two very different twin teenage boys channel their grief as they shift gear into adulthood. How her daughter, her ‘angry little goose’ throws herself into riding and taming the horses, defining herself in the process.
The individual threads of Cate’s life are traced through observation of her big loves, the tug of war at play – the pull of grief and the push of life. The novel is nuanced and cleverly put together, plot lines develop to reveal some interesting depth, very much reflecting the complexities of real human relationships.
I happened to be reading this novel at a time of remembrance of a big love in my life. It tapped into that beautiful and very sad core of grief in me. Rather than being upset by this, I treasured how Henry Jones wrote about loss. It was a gift.