Monday, September 16, 2013

THE OTHER ROOM by Kim Triedman

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Three years ago, Claudia MacInnes and her husband, Josef Coleman, lost their one-year-old daughter Lily.  Since then, their marriage has begun to unravel as the two of them deal with their grief in different ways.  Josef longs for a physical connection that his wife is unable to provide so he turns to a young surgical nurse for comfort.  Claudia looks for an emotional connection that her husband seems unable to provide and uses her therapy sessions to fill that void.  As their lives continue to fall apart, we see the roles that others played in the tragedy and the secrets of the past are slowly revealed as well as the details of Lily's death.

This book was both heartbreaking and beautiful. As a parent, I can think of nothing worse than losing a child. I'm always amazed that anyone can get through such a loss.  Triedman does a wonderful job revealing the effects of such a tragedy on one particular family.  Much of the story is told through Claudia's journal entries and we see that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.  However, since the reader doesn't really know the details of Lily's death until the later part of the book, the journey can be harrowing.  No one is innocent. Everyone is struggling to deal with pain and loss in  his or her way and it is so painful to see how it rips this family apart.

I was so impressed with this book.  The subject matter could have skewed maudlin and over-the-top but Triedman does a masterful job dealing with the intricacies of the loss of a child.  My heart ached for ALL of the characters.  Triedman does an excellent job of fleshing each of them out so that they are all multi-dimensional.  It is a very affecting work.

BOTTOM LINE:  Highly recommended.  A beautiful and haunting look at the collapse of a family after the death of a child.

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