I’ve been a fan of Deborah Moggach’s books since the 1980’s, which shows my age but who cares!
I have a clear memory of telling my sister, also a bookworm to read Deborah Moggach books and she too became a fan. Since that time the author’s books have been adapted to the big screen and became hugely popular movies.
This book The Carer is a perfect example of the skill of the author in depicting the often troublesome dynamics of family relationships.
James, the elderly father of Phoebe and Richard becomes increasingly frail after a bad fall and fracture and now needs round the clock care in his own home in a quiet Cotswolds village.q
Neither of his now middle aged children have the inclination or time to care for their own father themselves so in steps Mandy the carer. Mandy, the ebullient and overweight carer appears with impeccable, credible references and a pair of Marigold gloves.
The two siblings are more than happy to leave their father in Mandy’s apparently capable hands.
Pheobe is an artist who displays her paintings for sale in the small post office in a village in Wales. A bohemian, or ageing hippy as she may be described today is involved in a relationship of sorts with another free spirit called Torren who lives in a yurt in a local woodland. Their relationship entails solely a lot of sex and Pheobe is under no illusion that she is his only exclusive frequent partner because of the evidence of other females visiting the yurt.
Richard, is an aspiring novelist who after a redundancy from his workplace in the city spends his days working on his book in the garden shed.
His wife is the impeccable and forthright Farida, a morning TV breakfast host.
Both siblings start to develop fears that Mandy the carer appears to have an over familiar relationship with their father, calling him ‘love’ and introducing him to her own interests of daytime TV and shopping. They notice a decline in the mental capacity of their former particle physicist father and a diminishment of his formidable intellect. James was married to his late wife, their mother for over sixty years and described their marriage as ‘one long conversation’ where they were on the same level and could discuss any subject together.
At this point I did wonder if the book was turning from an enjoyably fascinating funny read into a darker sort of crime fiction of a domestic noir nature, especially when Mandy was thought to have been rifling through their father’s private documents and photos.
I loved this book and enjoyed the expert characterisation of the author and unexpected surprising happenings or ‘twists’ in the novel as they’re often called.
Was always reluctant to put it down and it will be on my list of favourite books of the year.
Incidentally, have tickets to see Deborah Moggach in the North Cornwall book festival later this year. Can’t wait
This book was sent to me as an ARC by Georgina Moore of Midas PR @PublicityBooks
Unfortunately at the time, I was ill and completely unable to read. However, I left this book on my coffee table and the wonderful cover attracted a lot of interest from family and visitors who wanted to borrow it! No way!
Consequently, when hallelujah I was able to read again this book was one of the first I picked up to read. Will be sure to buy a copy and take it with me to the book festival.
About the Author