Between the Immensities

(1 customer review)


  • Author Name: Doreen Davy
  • Publication Date: 28/08/2018
  • Format: Paperback

In stock

SKU: 9781912575213 Categories: , Tags: , , , , ,


The story begins with psychologist Dr Katherine Moore’s last day at her Auckland therapy clinic. Succumbing to family pressure, she agrees to return to England to care for her elderly mother who is terminally ill. Arriving in Liverpool, Katherine is surprised at how negative her mother has become, so unlike the idealistic view she has maintained of her ‘lovely gentle mammy’. After having spent 36 years living in NZ while her sisters have been ‘run ragged’ by their mother’s demands, a time of reckoning has arrived. Katherine’s unsuccessful attempts to deal with her mother’s curmudgeonly attitude initially provide great entertainment for the family.

To help her cope with this challenging situation, Katherine turns to the ‘tools of her trade’ as a psychologist, and soon the mother/daughter relationship develops into an extraordinary therapeutic alliance. Katherine teaches her mother to meditate and via guided imagery returns her to the dance halls of Liverpool in the 1940s. Her mother’s successful ‘mind-dancing’ exceeds all expectations.

The delicate balance of routine life is further upset when Katherine’s rational scientifically trained views come into direct conflict with the family’s superstitious beliefs and obsession with the paranormal. After the mother’s death and before returning to NZ, Katherine encounters incidents that can’t be rationally explained. These feelings force her to conclude that she is either facing her own madness or that something of a paranormal nature is taking place. These bizarre experiences strongly challenge her scepticism and beliefs…

Doreen Davy was born and raised in Bootle, Liverpool and now lives in New Zealand where she works as a psychologist specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy. 

1 review for Between the Immensities

  1. TJ Ramsay

    I love the title of this book. I loved where the title came from and everything it means. I loved what it meant to the author and her mother.

    Dr Katherine Moore (christened Kathleen) makes the decision to leave her life in New Zealand to nurse her dying mother through her final months. Returning to Bootle, Liverpool, she reconnects with her three sisters and the mother she loved but never really knew or understood. This is a novel based on real-life events unfolding without bitterness or regrets that cannot be explained with a nicely rounded ending. I hope we all have the opportunity to say our goodbyes in such a caring, loving way though, alas, I fear most of us are condemned to less easily understood emotions and resolutions.

    The skills Dr Moore brought into her family to help her dying mother and two troubled sisters proved cathartic for her as well, while the questioning of an after-life through the raising of religious and professional doubt provided the opportunity for some carefully explained/unexplained phenomena – Dr Moore’s scepticism is brought up against the possibility of her mother reaching out to her from beyond the grave. This was interesting stuff.

    As much as I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed it at a remove. With a professional background as a psychologist the author was able to lead us capably through this dramatic time. She wrote of the possibilities for terrible family fall-outs from hovering misunderstandings and stolen money with a calm detachment that translated itself into the relationship between me the reader and her characters. I never felt fully engaged. Her writing was skilful, the story touching in its themes, just not in its story-telling. There was sense of writing up case-notes as opposed to telling a story.

    That said, this was an interesting book and I’m writing this review with my own family’s disfunctions sitting ghost-like around me, hoping that we can find the healing it needs before it is too late for any one of us. I felt the author was lucky to share this ending with her mother and sisters.

    Thank you, Dr Davy.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *