This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Debs Carr
When Alison’s only child, Calum dies in a car accident on the A9 she is understandably devastated. She isn’t a woman used to showing affection and her way to deal with this unexpected and life-changing loss is to have a one-night-stand with Neal, a man who she lived with years before when Calum was small. They’d been close friends, but despite his secret hope, nothing more than that. When they meet up at Calum’s funeral, the two leave together and after spending the night with each other in a hotel room, Alison leaves him without any goodbyes, or even a note and has no intention of contacting him again.
Neal returns home to his wife and attempts to mentally reconcile his uncharacteristic behaviour and return to how life was before being unfaithful to her. He has to cope with the realisation that although he’s always thought he was happily married to Sally, he still secretly longs for Alison and now that they’ve slept together he is finding it hard to get the thought of her out of his head. Alison understandably misses her son and is finding it hard to carry on without him being in her life. She reacts to her loss without a thought to anyone else, including her sister and Neal and copes in the only way she knows how.
If I Touched The Earth is written from various viewpoints helping to put across how a tragic loss like Calum’s affects different members of the family and his community. Cynthia Rogerson brings across the pain of loss and the complex emotions it leaves, while not being self-indulgent or sentimental. Calum was an unexceptional person and his mother loves him for what he was, she doesn’t turn his memory into something he wasn’t.
I probably wouldn’t have read this book if it hadn’t been sent to me to review, because the subject matter is a little too sad, but I’m glad I did read it, because it was a beautifully written depiction of what happens when someone’s everyday life is shattered forever. It’s about how those closest to a tragedy cope, usually in different ways and how they try to move on.