Sunday 8 September 2013

Between Here and April

Finished September 4
Between Here and April by Deborah Copaken Kogan

This novel begins with Elizabeth Burns having a reaction both physical and mental to the play Medea. Physically she collapses, fainting in the theatre; mentally she is struck by a memory of her best friend from Grade one, April. As the fainting spells continue, she sees a therapist and finds that the memory of April is worth investigating. April's story is a sad one, and Elizabeth connects with both the young girl she was once friends with, and the girl's mother Adele, who did the unthinkable in her struggle to deal with her own life. Elizabeth is frustrated with her life, struggling a career that sometimes feels meaningless, the loss of the adrenaline-filled reporting that she once did, the secret she has kept about what happened on her last war assignment, a husband who spends more time at work that with her and their daughters, his expectations of her, and meeting her daughters' emotional and physical needs.
The story of April and Adele leads her to examine her own feelings about her life, and what she needs to be content in her own skin. This is a story of society's expectations of women, the struggle to "have it all", and the difficulty of balancing both career and family while not ignoring one's own needs.

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