Simon is an unemployed teacher in the throes of depression since a primary school student in his care went missing. While Simon was never charged of any wrong-doing, the child has never been found. His parents employ a psychiatrist, Dr Alex Kilma, to help Simon. However, Simon mainly seems fixated on his ex-girlfriend from ten years ago, Anna. Anna is now married to a wealthy stockbroker Joe but Simon knows it is a loveless marriage. Because Joe sees a prostitute, Angelique most weeks. And Angelique is Simon’s girlfriend. Sort of. All their lives intertwine when Simon picks up Anna and Joe’s six-year-old son, Sam from school without their knowledge.
Perlman explores each of these character in his 600-page epic. Their flaws, their distress, their motives and imperfections are all explored through their own points of view. None of them is perfect. None of them is completely likeable. Yet, none of them is completely unlikeable. While it was an intriguing read with unsettling themes about human beings in general, it was also very dialogue-heavy which made it tiring to read at some points. The author also appears to have his soap-box issues that he conveys through Simon or Kilma about literature, the government and the healthcare system. It can sometimes make for a tiring read.
If you have the time, and if dysfunctional people interest you, this might be a book you want to pick up.
Until next time,