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Never Ask Why by Barbara Phipps
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Never Ask Why

by Barbara Phipps

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This novel isn't quite what I expected. I expected a tale of a woman in her 50s, grieving after the death of her husband, setting off on a journey in a motorhome to heal and discover herself. The novel does cover this subject area but in a surprising way. The first section is about Helen; it is two years since her husband suddenly died and she decides to take control and buys a motorhome. Helen has an open and relaxed attitude and the reader feels confident that she will enjoy travels in her van. She has an urge to get away but worries about her two sons; they both still live at home, have good jobs and are in their 20s. Strangely, for someone who seems to have a good rapport with young people from the encounters we read about, Helen struggles to communicate with those dearest to her and she doesn't tell her son's about her travel plans or her wish that they would move out of the family home. The novel gives a light touch of relationships and events and I found I wanted more depth to her characters to understand their actions. In the second part of the novel we are transported to a different world of drug taking and murders and for some time this appears to have no relationship with the first part of the novel, until the two worlds collide. Helen clearly learns lessons from the people she meets on her travels. These lessons are written humorously but somewhat clumsily. I found it a diverting read. ( )
  Tifi | Mar 17, 2016 |
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