Top positive review
1 December 2018
This was an obvious Kindle First choice for me this month.. family dramas with a twist are my favourites. ‘True Places’ was such an emotional and beautiful story, that even though I have not read Sonja Yoerg’s previous novels... I know that due to her flawless yet emotionally gripping writing means I will seek her previous books out.
In ‘True Places’ a young girl named Iris is found by Suzanne - a wife and mother who is just good.. Iris has been living on the outskirts of the forest, and when found is emaciated and deathly ill.
‘The object, perhaps thirty feet away, was definitely a person, huddled in a squat and facing the other way. She scanned the grassy area that rimmed the turnout for a motorcycle, a bicycle, a backpack, but saw only a bear-proof trash can and a picnic table. The figure, clad in dark clothing, was motionless. Asleep? Injured? Dead? Suzanne tapped her horn. The figure stirred. All at once she realized how small it was. Suzanne lowered the passenger window. “Are you okay?” The body gathered itself quickly onto all fours and lurched away, up a set of stone steps. It was slight, perhaps even a child. The hair was dark and straggly.’
‘Marshaling her strength, Suzanne scooped the limp girl off the ground, shocked at how light she was. It was like picking up a log and discovering it was driftwood.’
Suzanne is scared for the girl and immediately takes Iris under her wing and becomes a foster family. However as Iris has lived on her own in the woods for so many years, she does not fit in so when Suzanne brings her home things take a turn for the worse within the family.
What makes this unique is that the disruption to the family actually is like an epiphany for Suzanne as she begins to see her life as shallow, her family as selfish and expecting her to do everything for them while they don’t even acknowledge what she does to make their lives easier. Through Iris, she realises that she has lost touch with nature and taking care of herself.
This novel connected with me on so many levels. Yoerg truly has written a masterpiece that connects beautifully with the natural world while delivering an exquisitely written novel about family and following your dreams.