Monday, 17 June 2013

What Happened in Granite Creek by Robyn Bradley

What Happened in Granite Creek
Robyn Bradley
364 pages

Kindle version available from Amazon for only £1.49

Rating: A whopping 5 out of 5

GoodReads Synopsis:

"When Koty Fowler's husband volunteers her to visit Jamie, a quadruple amputee who lost his limbs in Iraq, neither Koty nor Jamie is happy. Jamie resents being "babysat" every day. Koty resents her lot in life: almost 30, mother of three, and trapped in an unhappy marriage in Granite Creek, a small New Hampshire town. But when Koty and Jamie come together in a sexually-charged situation, everything changes.

While Koty continues to explore her relationship with Jamie, her life at home spirals out of control: her sometimes-abusive husband drinks too much, and her middle daughter is on a destructive path, skipping school and getting into fights, while Koty's other two girls are left to watch.

What happens next, however, leaves everyone reeling, and the Fowler family must learn how to move forward, even as they struggle to understand what happened in their own backyard.

Told in multiple viewpoints and spanning across nearly two decades, "What Happened in Granite Creek" brings readers on a journey of intrigue and unexpected twists while reminding us that nothing is ever what it seems."

*** ***
Amazingly well written and edited. I absolutely loved this story about a neglected and abused wife who forms a brief relationship, under orders from her husband, with a quadriplegic amputee recently returned from the gulf war. 

The first part of the book is centred around these two characters and there are some extremely sensuous moments.  We are also given glimpses into Kody's relationship with her husband before things turned sour. 

The characters are so well developed that I believed what they thought and did. I genuinely felt sadness, compassion and frustration for them.  The complexities of each characters' personality and life experiences,  thoughts, actions and behaviour were so well drawn out, I did not dislike any of them even if I did not agree and want something different for them. I wanted everything to turn out well for them and couldn't wait to find out how life was panning out for them all. 

The first part ended quite abruptly and I was stunned. 

The second half concentrated on the personal accounts of each individual and what they were thinking and doing and why they had behaved in a particular way. 

During the course of reading the first half I remembered an old film (1946) 'The Time Of Our Lives'  about the return of three WW2 veterans one of which was a double amputee returning to his fiancé.  I remember having similar feelings when I watched this film in my teens. The impact was all the more profound as the actor was a double amputee himself.  I think 'What Happened In Granite Creek' is a worthy current equivalent in its raising of current issues that service men suffer during the Gulf War and how they may or may not come to terms with such loss. 

I won't go into more as I don't want to spoil anything in this absolute gem. All I will say is that this was definitely a thought provoking story for me and that I can definitely recommend that you give it a go.

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