The Separation

The SeparationThe Separation by Dinah Jefferies

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book follows the lives of this family torn apart by a vicious betrayal of one person against another. Except it goes much further than meets the eye.

Lydia and Alec are unhappily married but Alec has found a way to thwart Lydia’s desire to move on and find happiness elsewhere. Living in Malaya in 1955, it was a time of civil war and the ousting of the so-called invading country of the United Kingdom.

Lydia returns from a trip away to discover that her home is empty, the servants have been dismissed, the phone is no longer working and most worrisome of all, her two daughters are missing. Searching for months, she is then informed that her family has died tragically through an insurgents attack although there is no proof and no bodies.

There is definitely a good guy and a bad guy in this story, but the goal posts keep moving around. One minute your feel sympathy for one person, then the next moment you begin to wonder if they deserve it. There are several dramatic plot twists that seem particularly cruel or surprising.

The ending, whilst somewhat satisfying, does leave a few untidy strings loose that left me feeling a little confused and later still, annoyed. If you’re going to write a happily ever after for a novel, shouldn’t there be a roundup of all the characters?

This book is told from two points of view, Lydia and her eldest daughter Emily.

This book doesn’t teach you anything of the history of the time period. I’ve come away with no real new knowledge which is disappointing for a historical novel.

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