Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Story Perspective: Alternating Third-Person
Themes: Grief, Loss, Family, Friendship, Confusion, Love, Healing, Forgiveness
This book was given for free, courtesy by NetGalley
and Lake Union Publishing.
Rachel and James Croft have a great life – they are in love, have a beautiful boy, and live in a place some consider paradise. However, one dreaded day, the couple are unable to locate their seven-year-old son, Oscar.
Through months and months of devastation and pain, will the two be able to heal and find peace with their loss?
One of the aspects that I really enjoyed was the relationship between Rachel and James. I felt the emotions and thoughts they had were raw, and the phases they went through in their relationship seemed realistic. Though, at some point, we don’t spend as much time with James, his presence was always in the background, which was how Rachel felt. Their evolving marriage through this difficult and terrible time were the moments that my heart raced and felt deep sadness, aside from when they couldn’t find Oscar, of course.
I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a child. I’ve lost a sister, and so my parents probably would understand better, but the sense of loss and emptiness of losing someone so young must be one of the worst feelings a person can experience. Reading Rachel’s perspective, I felt I was given a glimpse of what it could feel like for a parent to lose her/his only child.
For most of the book, we get the perspective of Rachel with some parts of Cee-Cee, the Crofts’ housekeeper and friend. I found the pacing in Cee-Cee’s chapters, which mainly consisted of the letters she had written to Rachel, rather slow. Though I can see why these would help Rachel heal, for me, I found them to drag the plot. Rachel’s storytelling was better in a lot of ways. She clearly demonstrated the devastating and heart-wrenching feeling it is to lose a child. However, since this was much of the plot, it did bring the story to a slow crawl as some actions and thoughts were repetitive. Perhaps this was intentional because the healing process of losing a loved one is not instant.
Most of The Coordinates of Loss had an undertone of sadness. It could almost be compared to a lingering black cloud. It isn’t until the end do we see a bit of sunshine. I would then give a fair warning to those sensitive to sad stories.
Overall, the author’s message and resolution was clear. With some improvement with plot flow, this could be an even better read.
I would recommend this to those who would like to read an emotional story about healing and those who don’t mind a bit of a slower plot.
Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
37 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!