Wednesday 26 July 2017

Review: Michelle Jackson 'Six Postcards Home'

Love, heartache and the '80s on a trip down memory lane

Everyone remembers their first love, but how many of us even know where they are now? What if your summer of love happened before the constant communication of Facebook, Skype and mobile phones and coincided with mass emigration, when the only way of keeping in touch was by letter? Michelle Jackson's latest novel is about a young couple who don't lose touch.

With the soundtrack of the 1980s ringing in their ears, teenagers Karen and Greg experience all the innocent passion and uncertainty of love for the first time after they meet at the Grove disco in Clontarf. Though their young love is thwarted and they move on through life, they never forget those halcyon days.

Over the years, postcards arrive from Greg in far-flung places and when they occasionally meet, though now both married with children, there is still a frisson between them and a feeling that their destinies lie together.

Jackson has already touched on emigration in her last novel, Five Peppermint Grove.

As usual, the bestselling author's eye for detail transports the reader to foreign destinations, which fans will love. This time she also carries us on a wave of nostalgia back in time with delightful gems that will spark memories of places such as Solomon Grundy's Restaurant, the Dandelion Market in Dublin or summer work in London, waiting to use the phone on the landing in overcrowded flats.

As the novel moves out of the 1980s and through the decades, there is heartache and happiness for Karen and Greg, but as to whether their destinies really are entwined, we are left guessing (and in my case, up reading half the night) as Jackson takes us to one of the most surprising endings for a love story.

Ann Dunne

 

Six Postcards Home

Michelle Jackson

Poolbeg

€16.99

Irish Independent

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