Today I’d like to introduce you to a book I read last month which will be published on 15th March through Salt Publishing. A Perfect Explanation is written by Eleanor Anstruther and is a fictional story based on her own aristocratic family. This is part of a blog tour, you can find details of others’ joining in at the end of this post.
A Perfect Explanation tells the story of Enid Campbell, the granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll and grandmother of the author. It is set between the 1920’s and 1960’s and asks the question of how could a mother sell her son to her sister for £500?
The book moves between eras in each chapter as we learn more about Enid and her family dynamic. She comes from a world of privilege where woman are expected to do as they’re told and tow the line. You can see that her world really falls apart when her father and brother die The pressure is then on her to provide an heir. She meets and marries a man who she doesn’t love to spite her mother and her life begins to spiral out of control. She struggles with motherhood and the demands of having small children and it’s very clear to us as readers that she’s struggling with post natal depression, which she never really recovers from.
Enid isn’t a character that I could warm to, but she is one I could sympathise with. She was clearly crushed by depression, grief and her high society family. Her eldest son Fagus, has an accident and falls down some stairs, when she really should have been supervising him. He’s left blind and has difficulty walking. She shows no really affection to her daughter Finetta at all and is required to produce another male heir now that Fagus is seen to be unsuitable. In to a world of despair, mistrust and depression another son, Ian, is born.
Enid can’t cope and one day she just walks out and doesn’t look back. Her younger sister Joan steps in to look after the children, and when Enid reappears some years later she finds that Joan has been the mother to her children she’d never been able to be. But she wants them back, or at least she wants Ian, the heir to the family title and fortune back. But she can’t have exactly what she wants.
I won’t ruin the rest of the story for you, but it’s definitely worth reading if you get the chance.
You can’t fail but be touched by A Perfect Explanation and the tragedy of a family torn apart by abandonment, lack of communication and understanding, anger and jealousy. There are no winners in this story, which is the saddest part of it.
You can follow the A Perfect Explanation blog tour.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and I’ve included my purchasing link below for you in case I’ve tempted you to buy the book for yourself.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review