Learning to Speak American
By Colette Dartford
Published by Twenty7
Available in ebook
Paperback is forthcoming
Colette Dartford's debut novel, Learning to Speak American, may on the surface seem like it could be a gloomy book as a couple struggle to deal with the death of their daughter but in fact this is a book about forgiving the past and the people around you so you can let go and move on.
While on a trip to California's wine region, which Colette describes in great detail and will make you want to buy a plane ticket to head there, Lola and Duncan Drummond stumble upon a derelict house in the need of repair. This house, in the Napa Valley could be the thing needed to regain happiness in their marriage.
A deep grief has swallowed them both after the accidental death of their daughter. They have grown apart burying their grief in silence and guilt. Their fragile relationship is on the brink but will this house be the thing to save their marriage? Colette draws the reader into the complicated life of the Drummond's with believable characters
The house gives back Lola a sense of purpose, and new friends who are willing to listen to her talk about her daughter but secrets and lies consume Duncan as his coping strategy of drinking and one night stands pull him further away from Lola. This is a book which has no 'goodies' and no 'badies' - every character very much reflects real life - complicated.
At the start of the novel, both characters are finding ways of burying themselves in order not to face reality. Both must accept the past, forgive each other and let go of the guilt and resent stopping them from moving on with their lives. Learning to Speak American is a book about hope and acceptance.
You can download Learning to Speak American or pre-order the paperback for the new year!
I was kindly sent a physical copy by the publisher.