Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 28, 2012

If I Should Lose You, by Natasha Lester

I really am very sorry to be leaving this book behind in Moscow: it is superb.

Its rather girly cover is misleading.  It isn’t light reading, not the sort of light-hearted book I had in mind when I packed it for my trip.  It is a soul-searching and painfully honest book, exploring fundamental issues of love, loss, guilt and medical ethics.

Camille is an organ transplant coordinator, and her own small child needs a liver transplant.  Addie is only three, and she has spent much of her young life in and out of hospital.  Her parents, Camille and Paul juggle their careers, the needs of little Rosie who is still a toddler, and the round-the-clock shifts in hospital so that Addie will never wake up alone and frightened.  They are not very good at juggling the emotional demands that all this makes on their marriage, and Camille, the anguished narrator, feels the marriage is doomed.

A sub-plot both lightens and complicates the story.  Camille’s father was a noted sculptor, and she is asked to curate a retrospective of his work.  While this gives her an outlet for her emotions and a chance to occasionally be someone other than the mother of a very sick child, it also triggers long-suppressed curiosity about her mother’s  sudden death.  Camille’s discoveries about her father’s art, her mother’s frailties and her own moral quandaries are intertwined with the escalating deterioration of Addie’s condition which makes for heart-stopping reading.

Highly recommended.

Author: Natasha Lester
Title: If I Should Lose You
Publisher: Fremantle Press, 2012
ISBN: 9781921888786
Source: Review copy courtesy of Fremantle Press

Availability:
Fishpond:
Print If I Should Lose You
eBook If I Should Lose You
Direct from Fremantle Press (where there are book group notes too).


Responses

  1. Sounds like a good read Lisa. How on earth do you have time to read while you are tripping around the world? Hope you are enjoying your holiday.

    • I’m having a wonderful time, Karenlee – you can follow my adventures over on my travel blog – the link is in the RHS menu:)
      I had dinner tonight in Gogol’s former home!

  2. please don’t use the word ‘girly’ in a derogatory way, or to imply that something cannot be serious.

  3. Thanks for the lovely review Lisa, I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. And it’s great to hear that my book is so well travelled!

    • Hello Natasha – the thanks go to you for writing such a memorable book! You will be pleased to hear that I passed it on to our tour guide in Moscow, and yours is the first book she will have read by an Australian author. We talked about books quite a bit, mainly the great Russians of course, but also some contemporary Russian authors, and when I realised she was a keen reader, I knew she would love your book too.
      I hope it does well, it deserves to:)
      Best wishes, Lisa

  4. I’m going to the launch for this in a couple of weeks so i’ll look forward to getting my copy. I’m lagging behind on my AWW2012 challenge reads too so this is what the doctor ordered – no pun intended.

    • Oh Annabel, lucky you! I didn’t have time to write a really detailed review, but I think that you as an author will especially appreciate its writerly aspects. It’s a beautifully constructed book, with exceptionally good dialogue.

  5. Sounds like a good and riveting read. Thanks for sharing this fine review

  6. […] its predecessor If I Should Lose You, (see my review) this novel offers more than its cover suggests, but it signals a move towards more commercial […]


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