After the catastrophic news that the end of the world is predicted, Aisha and her mother, Esah, are forced to reassess their lives. Aisha’s mother wants to go and find her older estranged daughter, June who had left three years previously to travel and has not contacted them since. The sisters were very close and Aisha still feels conflicted.
Aisha has a thoughtful, kind boyfriend Walter who loves her – she muses they might have got married if the world wasn’t ending. She wants Walter to come with her to find June and Walter wants his parents to be with them as they had already been planning a last trip through Malaysia to visit old haunts. The five of them set off together in Walter’s parent’s gaudy old campervan along with a mangey orange stray cat named Fleabag that had entered their lives a few weeks before and refused to leave.
June had always loved the house her grandparents lived in but when they died Esah was too sad to spend any time there. It is Aisha who has a hunch June might be there and that is where they are headed. Moving seamlessly from past to present with snippets of the sisters’ past life together and that of the present day their journey leads Aisha in particular to discover more about herself and her family. The intergenerational family relationships are beautifully observed and the relationship between Walter and Aisha is tender and sweet.
This is an unusual and special book – one of those quieter yet uplifting stories that really get under your skin. I was so enthralled I dropped it in the bath – only the best books get that treatment!
In the midst of potential catastrophe, it is life-affirming and full of love and hope.