Title: Only About Love
Writer: Debbi Voisey
Publishing House: Fairlight Books
Date of Publication: August 5th 2021
Rating: 5 stars
‘’There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to ask a really simple question: Do I do what’s right and face the consequences, or do I leave well alone and forget I ever knew anything?’’
Frank hasn’t experienced a spiritual revelation. He hasn’t explored the edges of the Earth, he is not ‘’extraordinary’’, he hasn’t discovered any therapy, he hasn’t committed a crime. He is not popular or notorious. He is a father and a husband, his family is ordinary. And this is the reason why his story is the story of all of us, an ‘’ordinary’’ tale that narrates the ups and (numerous) downs of a relationship and the ties that bind two people together, the values and principles they pass to their children. And in this sense, Frank and Liz’s story is the most extraordinary of all. Because it is real, all around us.
In short chapters written in the spirit of Flash Fiction, rich, elegant and direct, Debbi Voisey narrates the life of a man and a woman that constantly lose one another only to be found again. Even though I don’t agree with Liz’s choices, I can understand the origins of her patience and determination and I respected her character immensely. As for Frank, Voisey succeeds in making a relatively unsympathetic character interesting and tangible. These are people who experience love, disappointment, exhaustion and hope. Feelings we experience on a daily basis. What made this novella so powerful was the ‘’earthy’’ feeling of Voisey’s writing and the beautiful – allow me the inappropriate use of the adjective – way in which dementia is presented. Respectfully, quietly, we enter the life of a family that has to face the nightmare we all dread. I won’t go into details but I will say that I was moved to tears as this issue has always been one of my greatest concerns and it keeps growing as my parents grow older.
I won’t tire you. This beautiful addition to the beloved Fairlight Moderns series is a lyrical and raw chronicle of a family that could have been our relatives, our friends. A family that could have been hours. It is a moving journey to the feelings of the human soul and how we find the courage to keep our sanity in the darkest of times.
‘’How can you be lost if you don’t know where you are?’’
Many thanks to Fairlight Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.