Hinterland is a family drama that takes its time developing and unraveling its characters. It is also a bit of a thriller. Nicholas Giovanni is devoted to Kate, his five year old daughter. He takes her to school, tends to her needs and drives a taxi to support them and Kate’s mother Kathleen. We learn early on that Kathleen suffers from a severe mental illness. Their next door neighbor is Tilly, who was close friends with Nicholas’ late mother. When Tilly has an accident, her daughter Ina returns to town to take care of her mother. Years ago, Ina and Nicholas had been close and this disturbs Kathleen. After an incident in the home, Kathleen is placed in a psychiatric ward in the hospital and does not return. Nicholas hides the truth from Kate. As the years go by, Ina become a substitute mother to Kate, who is determined to learn what happened to Kathleen as her relationship with her father starts to suffer.
This is a beautifully written book that is deeply emotional. We see a family that has not only been impacted by mental illness but by being silent about it. Nicholas is portrayed as being totally devoted to his daughter but is his silence truly about protecting her? All of the characters in this book are suffering with their own problems and struggles. Kathleen’s is simply the most obvious.
This complex and unsettling book will stay with you.
Many thanks to author L.M. Brown for the invitation to read her thought-provoking novel in advance of its release.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: October 13, 2020.
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