That Dark Remembered Day

That Dark Remembered Day Can You Ever Know What Those Closest To You Are Really Capable Of A Son Returns To The Small Town Where He Grew Up, Where His Mother Still Lives And Where A Terrible Event In His Childhood Changed The Lives Of Almost Every Person Living There As The Story Unfolds Through The Eyes Of The Son, The Mother And Finally, The Father, The Reader Experiences The Taut Build Up To One Day S Tragic Unravelling, And The Shock Waves That Echoed Through A Once Happy Family And Close Knit Community Will They Ever Be Able To Exorcise The Damage Of That Day Or Do Some Wounds Run Too Deep A contemplative read which demands to be read, absorbed and reflected upon Cleverly and carefully it lays the groundwork before revealing what happened on That Dark Remembered Day.The narrative is shared between Stephen, now a technician at a university but at the time the book opens, in 1983, an awkward teenager, his mother Mary and his father Richard In 1983 Richard had returned from the Falklands, his final posting before discharge from the arm and at its heart, this book is a reflection on the damage that war inflicts on those who are sent to fight.Stephen s story is the thread that runs through the book as the author first presents Mary s perspective, her excitement of a new venture in becoming self sufficient in their new home Highfield, how daunted she was when her husband returned coupled with her doubt on how to deal with the shadow of the man he was before Richard s story, coming later, is a brutal depiction of a reluctant soldier, so raw and descriptive that it made me re evaluate those half remembered news stories of my own childhood.Tom Vowler s assured writing covers huge themes, of mental illness, bullying and takes an accurate look at small town mentality where close knit masks acts of cruelty to those deemed not to belong When Stephen returns to the town he vowed never to return to he wonders whether the inter
Coming March 13th From Headline.Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.A son returns to the small town where he grew up, where his mother still lives and where a terrible event in his childhood changed the lives of almost every person living there As the story unfolds through the eyes of the son, the mother and finally, the father, the reader experiences the taut build up to one day s tragic unravelling, and the shock waves that echoed through a once happy family and close knit community Will they ever be able to exorcise the damage of that day or do some wounds run too deep So I read Tom Vowler s debut novel What Lies Within and thought it was stunning for all the right reasons and was very much looking forward to another tale from this author.If anything That Dark Remembered Day was an even better read for me one of the types of books that I love, where characters are key and past events influence present times, a psychological insight if you like into the things that make us who we are These types
It s autumn 2012 and Stephen seems to have everything he s married with a young daughter, he has a job he enjoys, but an out of character act may have put all of this in jeopardy When he receives an unexpected phone call suggesting that his mother may be unwell circumstances prompt him to return to the town he last saw as a teenager It is obvious that some terrible event occurred in the past and that somehow Stephen was involved this is That Dark Remembered Day but Vowler, as with What Lies Within, draws the reader into the story giving only a fragment away at a time.Towards the middle of the book the focus shifts back to the summer of 1982 and you begin to understand about the events which have led to Stephen s current problems and the reason that he has been so reluctant to return home Whilst much of the story in the present concerns his realisation that he isn t as well adjusted as perhaps he thought, the scenes set in the past, adding other points of view, give the reader a better insigh
First of all, many thanks to the teams at BookBridgr and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read this exciting new talent in thriller writing That Dark and Remembered Day is Tom Vowler s second novel and I enjoyed it so much that I instantly purchased his debut, What Lies Within The story centres around a family Richard, Mary and their two children, Stephen and Jenny and is told in three parts with three distinct voices, those of Stephen, Mary and finally the father Richard, focusing on two time frames In the present day section, we are introduced to Stephen who is currently on forced leave from work after physically attacking a colleague in a fit of temper The reader then finds out that he might be ever so slightly repressed emotionally after undergoing a traumatic experience in childhood which is only now relieving itself and causing Stephen to act out his hidden anger However, an opportunity appears for Stephen to face his childhood demons when a friend of his mothers phones him out of concern as his mother has been acting a little odd The fact that she still lives in the town after the incident is pretty unbelievable for Stephen, but he decides to go back, visit his mother, and perhaps put a few ghosts to rest.The second
This is a very dark book, but I wouldn t classify it as crime fiction It s really a study of grief, the story of a soldier who returns from the Falklands War with what we now know as PTSD, but I guess back then it wasn t so well known Hence, he does not get the help he needs and is the instigator of a tragic event that changes the town forever Years later the soldier s son returns to the town to visit his sick mother, who never left, trying to come to terms with the shattered life he tried to
Because I d been so taken by Tom Vowler s earlier novel What Lies Within, I was determined to read this Both were beautifully written and in each the sense of foreboding escalated as the novels progressed However, this was so very dark that I lost heart at one point, but I did eventually finish the job It was written in 2014, before the outbreaks of violence perpetrated by lone gunmen had become quite so prevalent Part of the action takes place in the Falklands during WWI, where one of the protagonists served The gruesome aspects of soldiering and the emotional shattering which befell many are portrayed with great compassion In fact, the author mentions in an interview following the conclusion that veterans of the Falklands had committed suicide than had died in action One thing I loved in his previous book and which was also evident here was the prominence of the natural world and his rich portrayal of it As they worked, his thoughts turned once to the woods above Highfield, rich with elm and ash, marking the seasons absolutely, the trees softening the wind to a whisper, filtering the sun s blaze so that it mottled the earth Even in winter, when the cold clung to everything and ice tapered like bones from the branches, there was still comfort to be found there, the woods cocooning you in their own rhythm, embracing you, your senses mollified by their ancient splendor The imprints of childhood and the fallout of fa
An engaging read which unravels family complications and secrets The setting is so well drawn that the story relies on it as well Well written prose, well paced A recommended read. Dulce et decorum est When Stephen Briggs returns to the town of his childhood to visit his elderly mother, he is forced to remember the events of the day that shattered his life and family, and caused aftershocks that are still rippling through this small community Back in 1982, his parents had bought Highfield, a dilapidated old house overlooking the town Richard would leave his career in the Army and together he and Mary would convert the barns into holiday cottages for rent and then live as much as they could off the land But these plans changed when a sudden fight over a tiny group of islands on the other side of the world became Britain s last imperial war Richard found himself en route for the Falklands, a small war but a brutal one and one which affected profoundly many of the men who served As he d wandered through the decaying rooms of Highfield, scenes from their time there had played out with such clarity parts of his life he d worked so hard to banish, to eradicate not just from his own mind but somehow from history itself It amazed him ho
Tom Vowler s second novel, That Dark Remembered Day, opens with what could be a recurring nightmare a boy on the cusp of young adulthood gets off the school bus in Spring 1983, full of hope and fuzzy expectations and, on his way home, walks into something that quickly shatters that child s happy innocence forever.The book then fast forwards to Autumn 2012 and Stephen, a grown man with a family of his own and a job that stems from one of his passions Unfortunately, unresolved anger issues and drinking are jeopardising everything he s been suspended from his job and his wife has told him that they can t go on like this for much longer Things appear to be quickly unravelling when he gets called back to his home town He s avoided going there in the past but now it seems as if he must return, not only to see his mother who s unwell, but also finally to see if he can deal with what happened there in 1983 One of the reasons this book works so well is because Tom Vowler manages to sustain the suspense for so long The reader deliberately isn t told what the tragic event was until quite late on in the
Firstly, thanks to bookbridgr and Headline Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read Tom Vowler s second novel When it arrived I found the cover captivating and I couldn t wait to delve into the story That Dark Remembered Day delves into a dark world of pain and resentment a community, and individuals, left devastated by the aftermath of one man s war with himself I don t want to give too much away about the story, as I believe a great deal of its appeal comes from the mystery behind the events of that day It is a story that requires the reader to really immerse themselves in the lives of its characters, and encourages the reader to understand the emotional turmoil that led to the horrible events that changed the town forever Vowler s ability to set the scene is also incredible you really feel like you ve been to Highfield, into the woods and in the town pub When Stephen Briggs returns to the town where he grew up, he is forced to face the horrors of the past to address the questions that were never answered, the situations never understood That Dark Remembered Day explores the reality that in order to deal with and overcome an awful experience, you must face it head on Stephen Briggs is a clear example that if you run from your past, hide from it, it will one day catch up with you unexpectedly Vowler s ability to portray the psychological turmoil of his ch