Sharon Guskin's debut novel The Forgetting Time follows Janie Zimmerman and her 4-year-old son Noah. Noah suffers from nightmares. He is terrified of water and wakes up every night shouting for his mother. Only it's not Janie he's looking for. He wants his other mother. And he wants to go home, to a home that Janie has no knowledge of.
Liz Nugent is a master of opening lines, and Unravelling Oliver doesn't disappoint.
I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.
And so we meet Oliver Ryan, a successful children's writer and charismatic charmer, and his wife, Alice, who illustrates his books. We start the story in the aftermath of Oliver attacking Alice and leaving her in a coma in hospital. Oliver begins to tell his story. Interspersed with the stories of people Oliver knew throughout his life, we discover his tale of abandonment, guilt and entitlement, and learn what drove him to attack his wife.