Learning to Speak American by Colette Dartford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having suffered in silence since the tragic death of their young daughter, Lola and Duncan Drummond's last chance to rediscover their love for one another lies in an anniversary holiday to the gorgeous Napa Valley.
Unable to talk about what happened, Duncan reaches out to his wife the only way he knows how - he buys her a derelict house, the restoration of which might just restore their relationship.
As Lola works on the house she begins to realise the liberating power of letting go. But just as she begins to open up, Duncan's life begins to fall apart.
Colette Dartford's debut novel, Learning to Speak American, explores whether a parent can ever truly move on from the death of a child. And, after all the heartbreak, whether Lola and Duncan can learn to love again.
I didn't think that I was going to enjoy this book; the whole aspect of losing a child and the fallout afterwards felt way too depressing for me but I kept an open mind and started to read it. I suppose 'enjoy' is not a word you could easily attach to this novel purely for the subject matter but I did appreciate the delicate and sympathetic way Colette Dartford approached this. Far from being all doom and gloom and heavy going it was easy to read and believable as this couple tried to re-build their lives together after their tragedy.
Collette Dartford takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster as this couple try to overcome their loss in their own ways while they seem to drift further and further apart. Some beautiful writing and the author seems to have been able to get under the skin of her characters; sometimes desperately sad and at other times filled with hope for the future. A good debut novel and worth the read - I would give this a well deserved 4 stars.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.