Review: Our Picnics in the Sun by Morag Joss

20131129-122346.jpgA man trapped both physically and mentally after a debilitating stroke. His wife resentful and overwhelmed by his needs. A distant son who refuses to return to the home he worked so hard to escape. A harsh, unforgiving landscape. And two strangers who mysteriously appear at their doorstep one night. Morag Joss has given us a cast of characters worthy of a fulfilling, suspenseful story.

Howard and his wife, Deborah, are simple, eccentric country people who insist on living off the land and shun many modern conveniences. Their son Adam escaped his sheltered upbringing to become a successful businessman. Howard loves nothing more than making pottery and practicing yoga while Deborah spends her time weaving and tending to her home and garden. They also run a not-so-successful bed and breakfast. When Howard suffers a stroke and becomes completely dependent on Deborah for his most basic needs, feelings begin to change and long buried resentments rise to the surface. Both Howard and Deborah are desperate for the attention and affection of Adam. But time and again they are disappointed by his unfulfilled promises of a long past due visit. Complicating matters is a lingering guest, Theo. As Deborah’s relationship with Theo begins to grow, she starts to view him as a replacement for her absent son. However, dark thoughts soon start to cloud her judgment as she begins to question everything she thought her life has stood for up to this point.

This book was described to me as a psychological thriller, and it definitely had me on the edge of my seat waiting for “it” to happen. The author wove a story full of such secret and suspense that I just knew at any moment the bottom was going to fall out. Although I caught on to one of the cliffhangers at about three quarters of the way through the book, her writing is so beautifully lyrical and descriptive that I wanted to keep reading just for the pleasure of the journey. The ending did not disappoint me and all of my questions were answered, although I would describe this book as more of a suspenseful drama than a psychological thriller. A good read!

~Thalia

Buy it Now: Our Picnics in the Sun: A Novel

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