After the death of Alice Bennett

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Rowland Molony
Jan 2007
�Just because you can�t hear anything doesn�t mean the air isn�t full of radio and TV and text signals. You have to tune in.�

Being attune to our emotions, to the influences that exert themselves upon us and to beliefs and faith � regardless of empirical evidence � form a key part of the understanding and self-awareness that course through �After the death of Alice Bennett�.

Together with his family, Sam mourns the death of his mother. Desperate to believe in some way that she still remains available to him, Sam gradually convinces himself that the telephone number scrawled in the kitchen is a means for him to contact her. This belief appears to be corroborated after Sam sends a text and a reply is received.

Communications along these lines continue, reaching a head as Sam decides he must travel to Knutsford services to facilitate a reunion between mother and son. Standing alone on the bridge between service areas, watching the traffic beneath him, Sam reaches an epiphany.

The greatest success of �After the death of Alice Bennett� is in the way Rowland Molony intertwines the physical voyage of the trip to Knutsford alongside the magnitude of the emotional journey towards acceptance. That both of these are made in solitude and isolation feels at once realistic and true, though also cripplingly sad. This is a touching, well-documented account of the feelings of loss and uncertainty that accompany all bereavement but that are exacerbated so much more in childhood... It's a beautiful novel and, given its subject matter, is paradoxically life-affirming.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on January 21, 2007 3:46 PM.

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