Having read Elizabeth Speller's excellent novel "The Return of Captain John Emmett" I looked forward to reading this memoir of her family. I was not to be disappointed, it is a beautifully written, poignant memoir.
To read "The Sunlight in the Garden" is to clamber upon a magic carpet, which then swoops and dives through the decades and back again. This non chronological narrative works wonderfully well. The mothers and daughters of Elizabeth Speller's family are slowly and truthfully revealed to us, in all their fragility. Through wars, divorce and madness, these memorable women's voices resonate. Elizabeth Speller's family is fascinating and complex - and in this fairly slim volume (240 pages) we are treated to a host of family anecdotes, secrets and fears. I was fascinated by the account of Elizabeth's school days and her time living in Berlin. The story of her Elizabeth's grandmother, her manic-depression, and service alongside the Polish forces in Scotland during WW2, will also remain with me I think. I loved every page of this beautifully written book.