Untying the Knot – Linda Gillard

Fay and Magnus share a past even in the present.

Fay and Magnus share a daughter.

Fay and Magnus share the fact they have both saved each other’s lives.

Fay and Magnus share their love for each other.

But Fay and Magnus are divorced and for one of them, there seems to be no turning back.

This is the fifth novel by Linda Gillard and it certainly lives up to previous ones. Published straight as an eBook because publishers seem to have money signs in front of their eyes and not good quality writing this is a must read for 2011.

Fay is exhibiting her textile work at a local gallery when she spots a tall man admiring one particular piece of work which is based on his family tree in fact. The man is her ex husband Magnus who through the course of the book we see declare his love for his ex wife. Drawn back into his life through events they both find there is a place for heroes and heroines in a marriage but is it too late.

Like her previous novels Gillard draws on her experience and brings perhaps different themes to her novels but all with a purpose, to educate, to entertain and also to acknowledge these emotional problems that many people suffer from. Untying the Knot deals very well with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and brings in to the forefront the experiences that our soldiers have to deal with when fighting. Magnus is ex army, invalided out after a career in Bomb Disposal and it is this where his relationship with Fay changes, their roles changes. Magnus becomes the patient, Fay becomes the carer. Fay does not remember this being part of the deal when she married him and she should stand by him.

The flashbacks that Magnus relives throughout the book were so strong and evocative, I could feel my heart racing, as he went out of his way to protect to himself and his family, his mind in the past his actions in the future. Gillard’s suggestive description is found with the landscape of Scotland and the bleakness of the tower that Magnus bought to build a future. The cold of the stone, the sound of the walls, the structure of the tower itself, everything is brought to life for the reader to experience.

A book that you must read, for so many reasons; I learnt so much about PTSD and the effect flashbacks must have on our Armed Forces  returning from today’s conflicts as well as those of the past I am sure will resonate with many. Perhaps for some reading this will help others understand a little bit more.  Linda Gillard deals so well with mental illness and somehow makes it a romance and a page turner all in one, with humour running throughout. Her books are about life and therefore deserve to be read.

I could have said far more about this book, but to do so I would have taken away the joy of others reading it. I am so glad I have found Linda Gillard as an author, and I have enjoyed all her work so far. Each book is so different and it has really helped me over the months gone. Emotional Geology is a book I know I will read again, all those brooding males makes me swoon as I imagine them. House of Silence has that big house feel to it, with romance and crafts to help heal and move forward. These books are not chick-lit in any way shape or form. They are womens-lit pure and simple for women of all ages, in fact there are three generations in Untying the Knot; Grandmother, Mother, Daughter the book appeals to all those.

If you do read this book and want to read more about PTSD then look at Linda’s website with some interesting articles and links regarding mental health. And as I work with members of our Armed Forces, this has made me view what they may have experienced  differently, I will listen and understand that little bit more now especially when those are going on tour. 

I look forward to reading Star Gazing which I have on my shelf.