Book Review: Tilting by Nicole Harkin

I was given this book as an advance reading copy from Netgalley, coz they are awesome.

Originally I read this book as being a memoir about the author and her Dad, but it ends up being about a lot more than that. Eldest daughter Nicole is precocious and inquisitive, dismissive of her three siblings and adoring of her pilot father who is often absent. The family live what looks like a regular if somewhat transitory life, with mum Linda caring for the children at home while Dad flies around the world. And if Linda drinks a little heavily, and Dad doesn’t come home very often, that’s just par for the course.

It’s not until Nicole moves away to college and her Dad suffers from a mystery illness that puts him in a coma that the family starts to unravel. There’s a girlfriend, and a fair bit of money missing, and when Dad finally wakes up, Nicole realised that he’s not the man she’d always thought he was.

A touching look at family relationships, strength and forgiveness (or not), Tilting examines the roles people play when their families are turned upside down through divorce, financial hardship, and most tragically, cancer.

At times brutally honest, Harkin writes unflinchingly of her own shortcomings, giving what seems like a perfectly honest record of a family that is deeply flawed, but also deeply loved. I read Tilting of an evening and found it incredibly touching.

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