I’ve been a fan of Lesley’s writing for some time and gave her an award for outstanding Literary Fiction in 2015
I was not prepared for this story. What started out as a complicated family situation between former lovers where children and new partners come into play turned into something much more profound. Alex used to go out with Kat, Alex’s daughter Petra being a link after the relationship ended. While issues such as co-dependency and healthy attachment to others play definitely key roles, it is identity in its many forms that dominate the subject of this book.
I stopped reading after a while to check out the author’s biography and was not surprised to find a background in psychology. The character analysis, the insight into their thought processes and actions, the complexity of situations and of that what we are aware and unaware of – it all makes for some incredibly rewarding reading.
The topical and character based writing is literary fiction at its best: thought-provoking and deep but also with a lot of tension and suspense, some surprises and a keen thirst in the reader to find out how all of this will find its denouement. Really brilliant.
Blurb: Charismatic and deeply troubled Alex experiences a mid-life metamorphosis with a shattering shrapnel effect. Kat’s world was changed forever by their first meeting, and twenty years later she is still making sense of the changes their relationship has brought about. What lies at the core of Alex, the person she remains attached to despite everything?
Today our self-concept has become paramount. But to what extent do we control the events that shape us, and is transformation always what we imagine? Can any of us say with certainty that we understand the person we love, or ourselves?
An exploration of the consequences of choice, the challenges and shifting face of love, and the quest to inhabit a fluid yet credible identity, The Girl He Left Behind poses important questions for our times.