Published 19 January 2021
EXCERPT: ‘So here I am,’ Tasha says. ‘Back in the real world.’
‘How does it feel,’ Milt asks.
‘Terrifying,’ she says.
ABOUT ‘WEEKEND PASS’: Who can forgive a mother who poisons her eight-year-old son? Even if it was an accident.
Tasha thought she had everything under control – her family life, her career as a nurse – until her son got into her stash of painkillers. Now, during her first weekend home from drug treatment, she must come to grips with the damage she’s done and somehow pick up the pieces. Told from the points of view of four different family members, Weekend Pass is a story about the lies we tell ourselves and the people we love. And it’s about struggling to rise above the mistakes that threaten to define us.
MY THOUGHTS: The excerpt I have quoted from Weekend Pass comes from the end of the first chapter. Milt, Tasha’s father, has collected her from the treatment centre for her first weekend pass since being admitted. I have worked with alcohol and drug addicts during my psychiatric nursing career, and this was a common emotion; the fear that being back in the same place with the same triggers will lead to a relapse. It is a perfectly justified fear. I thought I was in for an emotional roller coaster of a read.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that this author’s style of writing gets the full potential from this story. At the half way point I made this comment: ‘Meh. I hope this improves soon. I am not enjoying being ‘told’ what is happening. I feel quite removed from the characters, and not really interested in them with the exception of Jake. Really only reading on to see what happens to him. Have started skimming as this is failing to hold my attention.’
There was plenty of potential here to play with. There are complex family relationships dealing with death, addiction, betrayal, guilt, denial, abandonment issues, and infidelity. There is drama when Jake goes missing (that piqued my interest and earned an extra half star). Yet the majority of the story is narrated in a plodding manner that left me bored and restless.
I admire what the author was trying to do. It didn’t work for me. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to work for you. Reading is a personal and subjective experience, and what appeals to one may not please another. So if you enjoyed the excerpt from The Ocean House, and the plot outline appeals, please do go ahead and read it. Many other people have read and enjoyed Weekend Pass and rated it higher than I have. Please also check out their reviews.
I do love the cover.
THE AUTHOR: Paul Cavanagh burst onto the international literary scene when he was crowned the world’s first Lit Idol at the London International Book Fair in the UK. The novel that won him the title, After Helen, was published by HarperCollinsCanada to glowing reviews. His deft touch for creating compelling characters comes in no small part from working for some 30 years in health care. He developed his literary talents at the Humber School for Writers and Western University. He currently lives in London, Ontario, Canada. (Goodreads.com)
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Not That London Writer, IBPA, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Weekend Pass by Paul Cavanagh for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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