The Coordinates of Loss - Amanda Prowse

Reading Challenge Category: A book about illness or loss

Official Blurb:

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.
In the dark and desperate days that follow, Rachel struggles to navigate her grief. And while her husband, James, wants them to face the tragedy together, Rachel feels that the life they once shared is over. Convinced that their happy marriage is now a sham, and unable to remain in the place where she lost her son, she goes home to Bristol alone.
Only when she starts receiving letters from Cee-Cee, her housekeeper in Bermuda, does light begin to return to Rachel’s soul. She and James both want to learn to live again—but is it too late for them to find a way through together?

My Thoughts:>

I went into this book knowing that it was going to be a hard-hitting and an emotional read. Even though it is covering a story of a mother’s loss and how she can find her way back to living herself after the loss of her son, I felt somewhat immune to the grief and to the story itself. I know this will be a controversial opinion on this book, and maybe it is because I am childless and will never know the unequivocal bond, but I just found the story boring in the end. Not much happens, we are literally just following Rachel’s journey through her pain, and this is interspersed with letters from her housekeeper that had a similar experience of loss.
The letters themselves are supposed to play a large part in the story, but I found them a bit pointless and slightly unnecessary. Cee-Cee rambled nonsensical babble until she finally hit on the story of her life. They became mildly interesting at this point, but I think it was too little too late, and I just felt bored going into her chapters.
I think I sympathised more with Jason; he had to keep on making his world spin. He had to return to work so that their lives didn’t become worse than they already were. He had to remain strong while his wife was deteriorating. He not only lost his son but his wife as well. His pain resonated more with me than Rachel’s did.
I really had to plough on through the book, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about an Amanda Prowse book before. She often writes forceful stories, and I usually cry along with the characters. This one, though, even though a devastating story, it just didn’t touch me. I felt like reading the book was a chore. It was well-written, though, don’t get me wrong but I just couldn’t connect to it, again probably because I am childless.
I’ve just read some other reviews to see if I was alone in this feeling. I am glad to know that I am not, others too, thought nothing much happened other than the beginning. Others also felt it didn’t evoke the same sort of emotions that we are used to from an Amanda Prowse book. So even though I didn’t ‘enjoy’ this as much as I expected to, I am happy to see I am not alone in my opinions.
The ending was very fitting to the story, and towards the end, I did start to feel a little more invested in the characters, but I’m afraid the desolation with the story had already set in, and I was glad to have finished it.

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The Coordinates of Loss
by Amanda Prowse
Date Started
14th April 2020
Date Finished
16th April 2020
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