Sixty Seconds, written by Jesse Blackadder, follows the Brennans a relatively happy family with two sons – one teenager and a baby. One morning, amongst the usual chaos of family life getting ready for work, school and childcare, the baby, Toby, tragically finds his way into the swimming pool and drowns. The bulk of the book focuses on how the remaining three deal with their grief, anger, blame and heartache.
The parents and son, Finn, Bridget and Jarrah, are loving, kind people and their characters are really well developed and described – the emotion of each, and their needs at this time are so realistic and strong. The way they manage their grief – Finn through immersing himself in the legalities of the case, Bridget by isolating herself from her family and looking for Toby, and Jarrah through blame and guilt and running – highlight the need for grief to be understood and accepted individually and not judged or ignored.
Jesse Blackadder has taken grief and turned it into a tale that makes me cringe. The story is based on the authors own experiences of losing her sister to drowning and the way it impacted on her family together and as individuals. I cried a lot in this book, as there was no way there could be a happy ending. I found this book easy to read, absorbing in its story and the characters are really well written and expressed.