The Daylight Marriage
Author: Heidi Pitlor
Certainly not Gone Girl, but with similarities, The Daylight Marriage produces one vanished wife, one terrified husband, two children who want their Mom back, and a plot that meanders around the disintegration of the marriage before their wife and mother’s disappearance.
Lovell Hall, called Love by his wife Hannah, is a young scientist totally involved with himself and his job at Mass Environmental. Removed from his family, it is no surprise that he and his wife Hannah have not made love in a year. Lovell actually has no involvement with his family, and leaves Hannah to handle everything.
Hannah works part time at a flower shop. One night she and Lovell have a fight and Hannah realizes that she wants out. The next day Hannah disappears.
The novel undulates from one story to the other: Lovell and the children tell the story of the family relationship, the fighting amongst husband and wife, the disintegration of the marriage within Lovell’s workaholism and disinterest in the family. Hannah tells the story of her own downfall as she makes one small misstep after another, innocently and without thinking. As the novel follows Hannah’s crucial mistakes and Lovell and the police and kids try to figure out where she is, Hannah falls into deep danger, while simultaneously Lovell realizes what he has lost.
Interesting, and at times forceful, The Daylight Marriage is a good read but could be a better one. The reader realizes from the first that Hannah is dead, and while the writing creates great tension surrounding the back and forth from present day to Hannah’s activities the day she was abducted, I wanted more plot. On the other hand, Pitlor’s prosaic descriptions more than make for the lack of plot that I intuited more than read.
Still and all, definitely a novel worth reading and enjoying for Pitlor astounds with solid writing and enough mystery to keep us reading and wondering.
The best part in my opinion are the children, and their reactions within the family narrative as it unfolds. Brilliantly rendered Ethan, eight, and teenage Janine steal the heart of this novel as they bring Lovell almost to the breaking point. Well done.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a product to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own
- The Daylight Marriage is available at Amazon.com and other booksellers.