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Review: Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore

Published 12/03/2012 by damselwithadulcimer

Helen Dunmore never fails to disappoint. She has a way with words and makes you believe you are inside the narrative and able to experience the sensations she evokes. I can always feel, taste, smell and hear a Dunmore novel.

Talking to the Dead is filled with tension and an awareness that something unpleasant will be revealed. The story unfolds through the filter of Nina, the younger of two sisters, who relates in the present tense, adding to the immediacy of the narrative. Although the perspective is Nina’s, she doesn’t try to pull the wool over the eyes of the reader, but presents herself in a way that is not entirely sympathetic. She is drawn deeper into the lives of her sister, Isabel, who has recently had a traumatic birth experience, and her husband Richard; the proximity between the two sisters leads to the awakening of long suppressed memories from the past.

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