Because Abe Died

(3 customer reviews)


  • Format: Hardback
  • Author Name: June Felton
  • Publication Date: 28/11/2013

In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 9781846249624

Categories: , ,

The sudden death of Rose’s husband Abe after forty years of marriage rocks her world to its foundations. Her feelings of abandonment and loss, followed by a flood of anger, erupt into insomnia and confusion. Rose believes her life was defined by Abe and she blames him for the overbearing behaviour that caused a rift between her and their two daughters.

They in turn – one living in London with her gay partner, the other unmarried and working in Micronesia – blame Rose for not standing up to their father. Rose and Abe would have loved grandchildren, and as Rose grieves for the life she believes she has lost, she fails to see that she can still live a life of her own. Her personal crisis reaches critical levels when she becomes addicted to sleeping pills, and her doctor suggests she occupy herself with voluntary work in the maternity ward of the local hospital. Here she befriends a single mother who, desperate and depressed, faces losing her baby to adoption.

Poor, befuddled Rose believes she has the answer to the future happiness of both baby and mother and, with one drastic action, dramatically alters the course of her own life.

3 reviews for Because Abe Died

  1. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): First of all I must say that I’m in my mid-twenties and I thoroughly enjoyed “Because Abe Died”. While I am probably not the target audience or haven’t experience grief on the level depicted in the book, the character evolution and depth was enough to keep me hooked. The author does an excellent job at analysing human behavior and interaction. I found that I was able to identify with Zack’s character in some ways, and his interactions with his family. The psychological ramifications on each family member after the loss of Abe seemed particularly well thought out and realistic. I also observed the marked difference between men and women and their involvement in the story.

    Because Abe Died is an all-round entertaining read and offers a great scope of human nature. I highly recommend it.

  2. Book Guild

    (From Amazon): This is a perceptive and well written account of family dynamics in current society.

    It is a sensitive narrative “page turner” and is recommended as a “good read”.

  3. Book Guild

    (From Mazon): In her debut novel, June Felton produces a finely rendered story that explores the dynamics of family life in its many dimensions, with its themes of love and loss, hate and forgiveness, and in the end, redemption.

    The story begins with Rose waking up to find her husband of 40 years, Abe, dead beside her. A most dutiful wife married to a kind and generous (and domineering) man, the shock of her husband’s death induces anger and a sense of betrayal. “Rose had always thought of Abe as invincible, totally in charge of his life and of herself as the kind of woman who, having no resources of her own, needed protection.“

    Lost and bewildered, Rose begins her own journey, and we join her in this compelling drama, taking each step with her in this tender, yet page-turner of a novel.

    The journey is bumpy at first and very uphill. Paralysed by fear, Rose in unable to get out of bed, and fast develops an addiction to sleeping pills. She manages somehow to get up and find herself a volunteer job at the local hospital, which enriches her, but at the same time takes her to a dangerous place; kidnapping a baby from an abandoned single mother who is about to lose her child to adoption.

    At the same time, we witness Rose’s slow rapprochement with her two daughters, Amanda and Emily, who deny her the respect that she is aware she had never earned, being unable to stand up to her fox-terrier of a husband, and lacking the strength to mediate on her daughters’ behalf. But for this reader, the most moving relationship in the novel is between Rose and her sister in law, Abe’s sister, Zelda. An elderly spinster, Zelda imputes a quiet and determined dignity – and a profound wisdom borne of a life of stoic tragedy – that guides Rose back to life.

    In a beautifully drawn character, it is Zelda’s, with her love and her sagaciou aphorisms, that stay with the reader long after the story is told. ( We can’t use our wisdom retrospectively, Zelda said, looking down into her cup of coffee.” We can’t change the past.”)

    And as Rose begins to understand: “It was one of life’s hard lessons that it was easier to remember harsh words than kind words.”

    Ultimately, this eloquent novel is in many ways a coming of age story, albeit one that is told through the eyes of a person advanced in age, who life seems to have passed by. Rose’s redemption offers redemption to us all; in other words, it’s never too late for self-realisation and to make sense of it all.

    In a session with her therapist, Rose says: “Don’t get me wrong. I would do anything to have Abe back, but in between the terrible longing for him, there is also a curious freedom.” Such insights leave the reader with a dose of hope and a gentle optimism that renewal is always possible. Well done, Rose! Well done, June Felton!

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