This is O'Farrell's fifth novel and it's both subtle and powerful.
In present-day London, Elina is recovering from the traumatic birth of her first child and feeling in an utter daze, following her harrowing experience. Intitially, she fails to remember the birth itself but as she regains her strength, the memories start to resurface in tiny scenes that she scrambles to make sense of, whilst her partner Ted is reluctant to talk.
We also have Lexie in 1950s Soho who's unconventional ways have seen her turn her back on her rural Devon home and when she shacks up with media-type Innes she's shunned from her parent's life altogether.
At first the reader is unsure as to how these two stories are intwined but slowly we become aware of the links between the four characters.
O'Farrell gets us thinking about our personal histories, the memories we may have repressed and the reasons for this. It's a great story, poetic and descriptive yet punchy in pace too.
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