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The Gap Year For Grown Ups
by Annie Saunders

Release Date: 26th Jun 2008
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 978 0 7528 8970 2
RRP: £12.99

Average Customer Rating: 
(5.0 based on 1 rating)

Sometimes you have to let things fall apart so you can put them back together again...

Sarah is forty-something. She has spent the last twenty years of her life raising her twins, looking after her husband and suffering the ordeal that is teaching music to ungifted children - and she wants out. The life she worked so meticulously to create has gradually lost its lustre and the inescapable force of boredom has breathed discontent into every fibre of her being.

David is the unsuspecting husband. Unknown to him, he is also trapped in the doldrums of everyday life in all its excruciating dullness and predictability. Stuck in an office job with an overbearing boss he despises, overweight and lacking any motivation to work on his beloved Alvis; he is a lost as his wife but unable to recognise it.

Claire is the daughter. Twin to Tom, she had decided to go to the same university as her brother out of a sense of duty. Dissatisfied with her choices, she is unwilling to face the truth that as long as she does the right thing by everyone else she will never be happy. Her unfulfilled artist's soul yearns to be at Art College, but she just doesn't have the courage to fight for it.

So begins a heart-wrenching, provocative and emotive journey for this family. As they all search for something whether it is themselves, distractions or new meaning - it becomes painfully evident that the transition from normal suburban family to disjointed and dysfunctional is only one step away. When reality bites and events come to a head, will the various strands of this family come back to together or will the gap year have severed all ties?

Sanders writes with a clarity, understanding and insightfulness that borders on disquieting. This could be you, your friend, your sister or brother. What truly sets this apart is the way in which Sanders makes the ordinary and mundane extraordinary. I don't usually go for happy endings, they usually feel cheap and cliché, but I willed this story to end well - I needed it to end well, I was so emotionally involved and when an author manages that - well, it's magic.

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19 October 2011: julie gill wrote:
Fabulous book, very entetaining, the kind you can't put down once you get started.

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