Yates, Shriver, Tropper, Dee and Franzen – these are my go-to authors for books about family relationships. And I really love books about family relationships. And I really love adding a new author to the contemporary-lit-books-about-family-relationships stable. So does Andrew Porter make the cut? Not quite.
In Between Days is the story of the Harding family. Parents Elson and Cadence are recently divorced. Their adult children, Richard and Chloe are dealing with their own issues – Richard is working in a cafe despite a post-graduate opportunity being handed him to on a plate, and Chloe has been kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she won’t explain to either her parents or her older brother.
Chloe’s story provides the focus and suspense, while the fall-out from her actions provides the emotional drama. Although Porter flirts with themes of family acceptance and loyalty, they’re never really stretched to their full potential and as a result the story doesn’t become the moral-thriller I was anticipating.
Unfortunately the characters were one-dimensional. Elson alternated between behaving like a frat-boy and behaving like a domineering and strict fifties father, whose opinions on particular topics were so conservative (given his circumstances) that it stretched believability. At the other end of the spectrum, Richard’s almost casual slide into prostitution was ludicrous. Sorry, that was a bit of a spoiler…
2.5/5 All the ingredients were there but didn’t quite deliver.