Loved and Missed

by Susie Boyt

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Featured image for Loved and Missed

This was fabulous. Told from the first person point of view of the mother of a heroin addict daughter who pretty much kidnaps her baby granddaughter, it’s a tale of very mundane details that somehow adds up to a lot more. We gradually see more about Ruth’s past as she cares for the baby and we watch the baby, Lily, grow up. There’s not a great deal of the daughter, Eleanor, in the book but her absence is felt by everyone.

I was disappointed by the lack of realism of the characters and the relationships in the last Susie Boyt book I read. Happily, in this book I definitely wasn’t. These were great characters. It occurs to me now that we don’t see a lot of most of them first hand. For much of the book I feel we only learn about Ruth’s set of schoolgirl friends and her teaching colleague Jean from what Ruth tells us but then when they step onto the scene we understand why they are there.

And I wasn’t disappointed by the ending of the book, it was really well played, leaving you optimistic and sad at the same time but with a definite sense of closure.