Sunday, April 26, 2020
"There Was Still Love" by Favel Parrett
Read this book cover to cover in less than a day, then burst into tears at the end! It has been a long time since I read a book that was so deceptively simple yet beautifully written and heartbreaking like this one..and while I have been struggling to focus on the last couple of novels I started reading since the COVID-19 situation hit South Australia, this book brought back my reading mojo with a bang! The complete escape from thinking about COVID-19 for 4-5 hours today while I devoured this book was so welcome, and the tears at the end so cathartic.
This is the story of two Czech sisters, Mana (and her husband Bill) living in Melbourne and Eva, living in Prague, often written from the perspective of their young grandchildren whom they are caring for in the 1980s. The story also frequently goes back in time to 1930s-70s in Prague and gives you snapshots from other family members perspectives. The simple tiny everyday moments, some joyful, some mundane, some heartbreaking,... the similarities and differences between these two women and their lives, are all beautifully captured and also made me thankful for so much that I have in life, while also forcing me to contemplate the roles of luck and resilience. The story also reinforces the importance of kindness and sacrifices, little or big, and the impact it makes.
Favel Parrett's writing is so beautiful and moving. I have enjoyed 2 other novels by this author over the years, "Past the Shallows" and "When the night comes", but "There was still love" is my favourite to date. I thoroughly recommend this author's work generally, and this book in particular.
Started reading: 26th April 2020
Finished: 26th April 2020
My score: 10/10
Aussie author stats: Female author, historical fiction.