Abbe grew up in South Africa in the midst of Apartheid but chose to make Honolulu her home with her pastor husband, Greg, and her young daughter, Chloe. One evening she goes out to the movies with Greg, leaving Chloe with a good friend who loves her daughter just as much as she. On returning, they discover the worst has happened and their daughter is dead.
There are two central plots in Come Sunday, the present day in which Abbe falls apart after the accident, and the story of her past in Africa. I really struggled through Abbe wallowing in her grief. Whilst it’s certainly realistic that depression can bring life to a standstill and make even everyday tasks difficult, it doesn’t make for a gripping read. I guiltily couldn’t empathise with Abbe until near the end and I felt sorry for her long-suffering husband.
More enjoyable was the story of Abbe’s past in South Africa, the political climate of the time and the disintegration of her family. The structure seemed a bit dislocated in places with little link between past and present. Fortunately the two did come together in the end but it needed more perseverance than I would normally give a book.
You might be thinking, well at least the locations are spectacular. There was very little description of the landscapes of Hawaii and South Africa. The current day story could have been set in any western town, be it rather middle class.
This was my book group read for this month so will be interesting to see what the others made of it.
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