The Unexpected Elements Of Love - Kate Legge
Janet presents the weather on television and although she enjoys her job, she finds it difficult to balance her home life and work life.
Janet’s young son Harry is extremely temperamental and fears changes in the weather that could bring on floods and tsunamis.
Janet’s friend, a psychologist named Dale wishes to have children, but her lone existence evades her wishes.
Dale’s mother Beth, crippled by arthritis and longing for grandchildren, is witness to her husband Roy’s mental deterioration and feels helpless to prevent it.
Roy, a renowned sculptor, is working on his final commissioned artwork, but his forgetfulness is threatening to ruin his hard work, and splinter his relationship with Beth.
Throughout all these trials, each has to struggle with their place in life, and the problems and successes that come with living.
What I gained from reading this book:
Despite the strong emphasis on global warming and its effect on changing climates, there are also strong references in this novel regarding whether drugs are the right solution to some childhood disorders, in particular Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Janet is told several times that pills will be the solution to Harry’s behavioural problems, and she has to make the difficult choice about whether she should sacrifice his outgoing and admittedly hyperactive personality for the sake of peace and quiet. Another issue raised is that of ageism and all its resulting problems- including public perceptions of the elderly, searching for the right nursing home, dementia, and the stark possibilities of euthanasia. All of these themes are designed to make the reader think about the issues that many people deal with on a daily basis.
This novel is challenging, in that it takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you think twice about some of the things you may ordinarily ignore. This novel also deals with taboo topics such as euthanasia- making the reader look at the issue from a different perspective, and not simply as a way of getting out of an unsatisfactory life.
With all the characters whose stories are shared and interwoven in this novel, it is sometimes difficult to keep a grasp on all of the people in their lives and their significance to each other. But people who persist with this will find that this is what makes each moment in the book so important to the overall story.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Genre: Family/ Relationships
Recommended for: People facing similar personal hardships in their day-to-day lives.
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