The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Emma and Adam have been married for a number of years and have two daughters. Emma is a GP, and Adam has chosen to stay at home be the house husband. He has a little work at the university and is currently working on a history of the bombed-out Coventry Cathedral. Though Emma is suffering with the stresses of the modern NHS, it is a happy family life. Then one day Adam receives a call from the school. Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. He rushes to the school, arriving shortly after the paramedics, and heads into the hospital with her.
As they come to terms with a daughter who has a serious illness, their whole family life is turned upside down. After a barrage of tests, the doctors are not completely sure what is up, so she is allowed home. As they come to terms with the changes they start to fret over the smallest things, worry over their other daughter and question things that happen to Adam’s mother that was never explained.
It is a sharp look at modern life, the way that we interact with each other. Moss has managed to write about the pressures that we place on ourselves, as well as those exerted by society with startling accuracy. It is a celebration of the mundane as well as those moments that draw a family together. However, it is a warning of how thin we stretch ourselves whilst failing to keep the work home life balance and a warning of how transient life can be.
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