The crystal heart- unknown
I liberated this book from the library of the nursing home I worked the summer in. In my defence the home was closing down and it would have been skipped. I also liberated a silk painting that was actually in the skip. Who could have thrown out something that beautiful? Anyway this book had no author, I suspect it was self-published. Getting into the internet a few years later I have looked for the author, but have never found them.
Anyway this little gem fitted in the palm of my hand and was only 150 pages long. It’s a sweet contemporary love story but it has a theme running through it of the protagonist’s mother suffering from a heart attack suddenly. Slowly the story unpicks the events that led up to the mother being taken into hospital. Daughter 1 is going backpacking with a student doctor and not even informed home of where she is going and how long she will be. Daughter 2 has a crush on a married man and is practically stalking him. Son has been summoned to court for a public order offence… husband is in debt up to the eyeballs. All this is slowly unravelled by daughter 1 Sylvia Swan (student nurse.) It’s also a story about home and the people who make it. Sylvia has to come home, abandoning her doctor backpacking holiday and runs the house while her mother recovers. Into this steps the boy she grew up with. Her Dad used to employ him to do odd jobs when he was a teenager, he was dirt poor back then and Sylvia, being a snooty teen had snubbed his boyish advances. Now he owns a construction company and is far from boyish. There is not a single curse word or reference to anything other more racey than kissing, but it remains one of the best love stories I have read. It’s a master class in how to slowly reveal a backstory one small fact at a time. I cared deeply for all the characters and wanted desperately for the story to have a happy ending… it has one, everyone lives happy ever after and it does not feel contrived or trite at all! Wish I knew who wrote it… it should be properly published.