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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Loss Adjustor by Aifric Campbell

Haunting and humane, "The Loss Adjustor" speaks of grief, forgiveness and redemption. Caro is a Loss Adjustor, tallying grief for an insurance firm, she finds relief in the fact that the human cost is never itemised in her inventories. The present is two dimensional for her, but history is loaded with colour and scent. Sometimes she tries to force a little perspective with a spare summary of event: Estelle died two weeks after her fifteenth birthday. It was sudden, violent, explicit. Afterwards, Cormac left and never returned. Now she waits for resolution, which comes in the form of an unlikely alliance. Aifric Campbell's second novel is a quiet hymn to childhood, grief and the redeeming power of friendship.

Initially I was unsure about this book but once i 'got into it' I became drawn in. Caro is a loss adjustor for a large insurance company - she is professional and assertive in her professional career but underneath the calm exterior hides a very shy and secretive woman who is unable to open up to anyone. There is a past which she tries to forget but the sudden death of her friend Estelle has scarred her forever. Caro's other childhood friend, Cormac, a rockstar, reappears in her life, Caro is forced to face her past. I really enjoyed reading about Caro's life and also her past, reminiscing about her teenage years. I liked the introduction of Tom, an old man who Caro meets at her annual visit to Estelle's grave - he too has history, is estranged from his son.

I found Campbell's writing style very easy to read and one that I could escape into. This is Campbell's second book and I will be looking up her previous book soon.

Thank you to Serpent's Tail Books for sending me the book to review.

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