This is a great read from a new New Zealand novelist, and is available now at bookshops nationwide.
Claire Bowerman has returned to New Zealand from London at the behest of her fiancée, Yossi. She is a pediatric surgeon at Starship hospital in Auckland, working with young patients suffering various ailments and traumas. In one such case, parents of a child with Wilm’s tumour refuse chemo and surgery, preferring alternative treatment. The resulting furore and media attention focuses unwelcome attention on Claire’s past, a past that she has spent a lifetime trying to forget. As she struggles against the encroaching memories, her relationship with Yossi begins to fray. Her fifteen year old daughter, Roimata, is also caught up in the turmoil as her own past begins to be revealed.
Claire’s reactions are very human and at times make for uncomfortable reading as she takes her anxiety and distress out on her family members, even as she attempts to keep them safe from the harm that she is sure threatens them all. It is hard to predict how things will be resolved and it is this very unpredictability which makes it hard to put the book down.
The characters are well drawn, believable and human. The Auckland landscape is equally detailed.
Sue Younger has written a novel that can take a well-deserved place on any bookshelf, and could easily be one that might be read again in a bid to take in detail missed on the first read.
Reviewed by Lesley Vlietstra
Days are Like Grass
by Sue Younger
Published by Eunoia