Last year I was introduced to Linda Gillard when I read her debut novel Emotional Geology toward my 2011 Mental Illness Advocacy reading challenge, and I loved it, the book went on to score highly on my reflection for the year. After reading my review Linda kindly offered to send me more of her work an offer I snapped up, I received two of her more recent novels Untying the Knot and House of Silence. Well it’s another year, another Gillard book, and another read towards my 2012 Mental Illness Advocacy reading challenge. Can we say de ja vu? Untying the Knot is I believe Linda Gillard’s latest novel first published as a kindle e-book in 2011. To find out more about this book or author why not pop over to Linda Gillard’s official website.
Love conquers all right? Fay and Magnus married young, Magnus made a career for himself in the army, while Fay became a loyal army wife waiting for him to come home. But when Magnus finally comes home for good he is a broken man, severely suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder. Fay tries to still be the loyal army wife caring for him, waking in the night for him and still waiting, always waiting for him. Eventually Fay can take it no longer and she leaves, the one thing an army wife is never meant to do. Five years later and Fay is living in her own apartment in Glasgow, with her own career, and her own friends. When she’s hit with the bombshell of the double engagement of her daughter and her ex-husband Magnus which causes Fay to think, is she really as happy as she believes she is?
I don’t think my synopsis does the book justice at all, but neither did the official blurb either, there is just so much more to this book than meets the eye but to say more would be to ruin it. Needless to say I enjoyed this book as Gillard is so excellent at it was both charming and utterly heart-breaking at the same time plus it had some rather funny moments as well. The majority of the narrative was done by Fay, an attractive and intelligent older woman, mostly in the present time but mixed within there was also flashbacks. Interesting though in this book Gillard also uses Magnus’ point of view which was a good technique. On the whole you got a good insight into the individuals’ minds but also a sense of how their relationship worked even now it is gone. Gillard has taken the genre of chick lit to a whole new level; Untying the Knot is well-written, intelligent, witty, dramatic, but also has some real substance to it tackling difficult issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder which is at times baffling as well as terrifying to hear about let alone live with.
Another great read from Gillard I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy of Untying the Knot (especially as it is a bargain price on Amazon at the moment), have to admit though I think Emotional Geology is still my favourite of Gillard’s work that I read to date. Really look forward to reading House of Silence next.