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An Unremarkable Body

by Elisa Lodato

The hook in this moving story is that chapters open with an extract from a postmortem report. Don't be misled into thinking it's a book about death, as it is very much about life. I am not a fan of shouty novels narrated by overwrought characters. Thankfully this was more thoughtful - the fictional equivalent of sifting through a box of family photographs - a reflective and bittersweet experience.

Extract

People talk about coming to terms with a person's death. I've heard and accepted the platitude many times. It's always well-meant, and its meaning is that you must accept the permanent and inarguable absence of someone you love. But that's what I raged against that terrible afternoon in the car. The terms. That the revelation she'd loved me but never trusted me with the truth came when there was no more of her to ask. When I was a lost daughter, sifting through her body parts, looking for the woman that was my mother.

Parallels

From the Heart by Susan Hill
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
 

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