The Leftovers by Cassandra Parkin
Paperback published by Legend press 1st October 2021
Family love. Fated love. Forbidden love.
Callie’s life is spent caring for others – for Frey, her client, and for Noah, her brother. When a tragic car accident shatters her family, she’s left alone with her mother Vanessa. Vanessa’s favourite child was Noah; Callie’s favourite parent was her dad. Now they’re stuck with each other – the leftovers of their family – and they’ll have to confront the ways they’ve been hurt, and the ways they’ve passed that hurt on to others.
I have read quite a few of novels by writer Cassandra Parkin, because I’m a big fan of the characters and different topics that Cassandra finds to write about.
I found this story easy to get into because I believed in every word.
The Leftovers is my favourite as it held my attention in believing everything about how Callie and her mother that are thrown into stricken grief .
The Storyline is so strong and emotional I don’t think it will ever leave me.
Cassandra Parkin is a very talented author, one that I can fully recommend reading all of her books.
The Leftovers is a hugely sad moving tale, and is impossible to stop turning the pages.
I have added a short extract from The Leftovers to show just how powerful the words are and how believable the scene have been set.
“They’re dead, Callie. They’re dead. Both of them. They’ve been in a car accident and they’re both dead.”
“No “, I say.
Yes. Yes. There’s no mistake. They’re dead, they’re gone, it’s true. It’s just us left Callie. Just me and you. We’re the only ones left. Oh God, what am I going to do now? Noah, my darling boy…
The wail and shudder of my mother’s grief scratches sharply at my spine. That old, rotten childish thought. Why do you love Noah and not me ?
Another rustle and scrape. My mother’s howls grow a little distant, and then the unhinged sound coming out of her suddenly drops, as if someone has closed a door on a room. Then the police officer begins talking ago, with a terrible steadiness, a dreadful honesty. Her kindness, and in the background, my mother’s abandoned shrieks.
I make myself hear each word . I make myself say the words that need saying. Practical things like “Was there anyone else involved.” and “Are you absolutely sure it’s them?” and small courtesies like “Yes, I understand “ and even “Thank you”, interspersed with moments when I press my hand to my mouth and bite down until I feel the small bones beneath the skin, because I will not, will not scream; I will not, will not hurt Frey.
“I’m so very sorry to have to tell you all this. Is there someone there with you?
That’s good. Now, you might not feel it yet, but you’ll be in shock. Sit down now, maybe have a cup of sweet tea. Can you put me on the phone to whoever’s there with you?”
“No” My refusal is instinctive, an urge to keep what’s just happened to me safely within its own confines. “No”, it’s all right, you don’t need to do it. I’ll tell them.”
ABOUT AUTHOR CASSANDRA PARKIN
Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories.
Books by the author:
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