In a world where life, love and even reproduction are regulated by the state, Lyn reluctantly accepts that she must marry again just weeks after her first husband’s death. Supported by her friend Judith, she acquiesces to her every movement being monitored ‘in her own best interests’.
Into Lyn’s life comes Mikey, a younger man who was once a pupil of hers. Lyn tries to follow the rules and fit into the wifely role that has been allotted to her, learning how to cope with the exuberant, straight-talking Mikey and his large, boisterous family – something she never had as an orphan brought up in a ‘dump’ home. But a new relationship is not the only surprise Lyn has to face: she feels as if she is being stalked, and isn’t even sure if she can trust her best friend anymore.
As Lyn’s world unravels, she is comforted by her new husband and supported by her mysterious ‘counsellor’ Dylan. But who really has her best interests at heart, and can the heavy surveillance she is under ever be justified? Grieftime is an innovative novel that embraces a world shaped by technology; a world without free will that surely none of us would want to live in.
Review 4 of 5 Stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. First of all, this story was well-written and it was easy to become invested in the main characters. In fact, the characters are the majority of the story. I remember very little of the descriptive pieces aside from a couple of walks in the park and the general layout of the character’s house. I was not thrilled by the subservient role women were given in the book and I have to say that somewhat detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Anyone who knows me would understand that since I’m about as independent and self-reliant as they come.
As a character Lyn was easy to feel for. Despite the misogynistic feeling of the story, I did find myself invested in the love story that took place between Lyn and Mike. I don’t want to give too many details lest I ruin the book, but this was the best part of the story in my opinion. I never really got the feeling of dread and fear of Lyn’s crazy ‘best’ friend from the orphanage (or dump as it’s called in this case) despite her best attempts. Once again, I’m not the cowering type so I don’t know that I found her adversary to be all that threatening for the majority of the book. That opinion changed some as things went on, but I didn’t get that ‘feeling’ of fear from her. It was obvious she was broken and was supposed to be somewhat dangerous, but perhaps if the cards had been played somewhat differently then the situation might have ended differently as well.
Mike’s family mostly seems to have Lyn’s best interests at heart as do his staff, but no one else who is supposed to be looking out for her seems to want anything but misery for her, including the government representatives that resemble the NSA being involved in your sex life. Generally, aside from Lyn, the story is full of self-serving, greedy people who only care about themselves and what they want. Lyn’s feelings and wants are an afterthought to most of the men in her life and I found that to be sad. I’m afraid if I was forced to live in this world that they would find me in a hut on an unmarked mountain to avoid the police state that is present in every aspect of the characters’ lives.
Don’t run away too fast, because the author has talent and the story moved along at a good clip. I kept returning to the story to find out what would happen next whenever I got the chance and I generally enjoyed the book. I definitely enjoyed the author’s style of storytelling and would have liked to have had the opportunity to read more from her. Unfortunately Ms. Bulpett passed away during the publishing process so I’m afraid we will not have the chance to see what else she could have produced.