Sunday 24 October 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Leftovers - Cassandra Parkin

The Leftovers is a story about sexual power and consent, the myth of the perfect victim, and a dark exploration of the things we do for – and to – the ones we love.

Callie’s life is spent caring for others – for Frey, her client, and for Noah, her brother. When a tragic car accident shatters her family, she’s left alone with her mother Vanessa. Vanessa's favourite child was Noah; Callie's favourite parent was her dad. Now they're stuck with each other - the leftovers of their family - and they'll have to confront the ways they've been hurt, and the ways they've passed that hurt on to others.

What did I think?

I absolutely adore Cassandra Parkin's books so I didn't hesitate in picking up a copy of her new novel, The Leftovers.  The writing is just stunning as the reader is taken on a journey from Callie's grief to her family's past as their relationships are put under the microscope.

Callie is living two lives: caring for her client Frey and caring for her brother Noah.  Frey does not communicate but spends his time doing jigsaws and it was heartbreaking to see him trapped inside his body, unable to say when he was scared or unhappy.  Noah's issues are more volatile as he is unable to distinguish between reality and imagination so he needs constant care, which Callie shares with her dad.  Callie's mother left many years ago and it's been no loss to Callie as she has always known that her mother doesn't love her.

The relationship between Callie and her mother Vanessa is incredibly intriguing as we read flashbacks of the past.  You just know that there's something not right there as Vanessa showers all her love on Noah whilst Callie is treated with cool indifference.  Families are complicated and it all becomes clear as layer upon layer of the past is revealed.

The storyline is breathtaking and I have to say that I was almost screaming out loud 'no, no, no' at more than one point.  I was completely addicted to the book though, so as much as I wanted to look away I was completely powerless to resist.  Part of the novel is set during the Covid-19 pandemic and I could barely stop myself from crying when Frey and his sister finally saw each other again.  Lockdown must have been so confusing for people in care and it breaks my heart just thinking about it again now.  It's such wonderful writing from Cassandra Parkin to get this point across sensitively yet strongly.

Dark, disturbing and haunting, The Leftovers is so beautifully written that it will stay with me for a very long time.  A stunning read and highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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