What Could Be Saved is a marvellous family story which identifies many issues about relationships, sibling behaviour and trust. It shows how an unfortunate act can alter the course of a group of people and leave lasting gaps in in future lives. It is a story of survival and strength, elegantly written, with a huge degree of mystery. The story is set in Thailand and America.
The Preston family lead a glittering lifestyle in Bangkok. They had come to Thailand with their three children for Robert’s job; he was an engineer and was helping to build a dam. Their posting was to have been for one year, but three years later the dam was still far from finished. Roberts’s wife Genevieve, beautiful, intelligent, practical, and bored was renowned for her parties and for welcoming new people to the city.
Their three children lead a free lifestyle largely cared for by the help. The eldest child Beatrice, a responsible girl, cared for her younger siblings in an authoritarian way. Phillip and Laura were close sharing many happy times together.
We meet Laura aged in her fifties. She has just received a text message asking her to come and collect her brother Philip who has been missing. The unwinding of past events keeps the reader absorbed, desperate to understand the missing pieces.
Liese O’Halloran Schwarz takes time with all the characters to give them meaning by spreading out their backgrounds, then bringing the story together again. This is done so skilfully that the meshing and belief in them is quite powerful. The shifts between the past and the present are smoothly done and require no back checking or explanation. What Could Be Saved is an enjoyable and absorbing read.
|Author||Liese O'Halloran Schwarz|
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|