Knocking on sixty, Barbara Stirling is too busy to find herself, while caring for her mother, husband, children, and grandchildren. But when she loses her job, everything changes. Exhausted, lonely, and unemployed, Barbara is forced to face her feelings and doubts. Then a troubled, vulnerable little boy walks into her life and changes it forever.
Kathryn- 5 Star
I immediately was drawn in to Losing Me and I’m sure it was because Sue Margolis has a knack for instantly creating empathy and humour in her characters.
I’m a little younger than Barbara but I could relate to her situation and her feelings. Her desire to leave a legacy or make an impact isn’t something I’ve dwelled on much but in her job she really wanted her work to make a difference in the lives of the children who were struggling.
Barbara is a naturally giving person and this seems to have left her without someone to lean on- throughout her entire life she had been the strength and when she found herself adrift she finally realised that no one was left there simply to support her. Her relationship with her husband was distant, you could still see little glimmers of what it once was but Frank was so engrossed in his own purpose that he had really started to see Barbara was part of the furniture. Familiar in marriages all over the world it was a little reminder to try and remember why you chose that person in the first place. Margolis also tied in Barbara’s childhood and the relationship with her mother- the novel could have been presented without that additional history- but it added a little something to Barbara’s character. I was most fascinated with her mother’s struggles with her father’s agoraphobia. It was touched on gently but made an impact with me.
Apart from Frank and her mother Barbara’s children both still needed her to support them, financially and emotionally. In her fifties the dynamics with her children had changed and I liked reading about it through Barbara’s eyes as it gave me some insight for my future with my children. The in-between generation who is still needed as carer for parents, children and grand-children is not giving themselves permission to be what they need for themselves- they are still needed to provide care but as it’s not 100% of the time anymore there are hours to fill and re-discover oneself. It’s just as every person older than myself always tells me, make sure you make time for yourself and your marriage…maybe they’re right!?
Thank you to NAL Trade Paperback for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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