You don’t read an Alison Brodie novel expecting a run-of-the-mill, predictable story. McPherson wants to build houses, as he believes every child should have somewhere decent to live, but to do this he will have to cut down ‘Old Bob’, a tree that Faustine associates with memories of her late mother.
They both have equally valid reasons for what they are doing; the reader can see both sides of the argument, and we start to wonder how the situation can be resolved without one of them losing out. Their attempts to outdo each other at the beginning of the book are hilarious.
However, they put their differences to one side when it becomes obvious that Oscar is urgently in need of help to prevent him going off the rails. Despite putting up a very street-wise front, and having seen things no child should have had to, underneath he is very vulnerable.
So much more than just a romantic comedy, Wild Life deals with some very serious issues but in a sympathetic way. Using humour is very powerful and enables Alison to get the points across without preaching.
All three main characters are emotionally damaged, complex and flawed individuals who evolve as the story progresses. At times, the twists and turns of the plot push the bounds of credibility, but somehow it all comes together in a satisfying finale. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading her next one.
Thanks to Alison for a copy of Wild Life and this is my unbiased review.