Title – The Farm
Author – Tom Rob Smith
It is a normal day for Daniel, his life proceeding at a comfortable level. On the outside all is fine and he seems happy. Then comes the call from his father, the call that changes everything. The call that begins the process that strips the veneer from his life.
“Your mother…She’s not well.”
“Its so sad.”
“Sad because she’s sick? Sick how? How’s Mum sick?”
Dad was still crying. All I could do was dumbly wait until he said:
“She’s been imagining things – terrible, terrible things.”
Daniel’s parents had left England and travelled to Sweden, the country of his mother’s birth. The place she had run from at such an early age. Now his mother is ill and Daniel must get to her. As he plans to take a flight he receives another call, this time from his mother and she tells him to wait. That she is coming to him. When she lands she tells him he cannot talk to his father. She tells him there is a conspiracy to prove she is mad. She tells him a story so incredible…
“..In no more than a brief aside, my mum had swept away my entire conception of our family life..”
Daniel’s mother, Tilde, tells Daniel the true reason she and his father had left to go to Sweden. The truths of her childhood and her lost friend Freja. And now, while she has little time, the truth of his father and the men of the small village they had settled in and the disappearance of the young girl Mia.
Daniel must hear his mother out as his father Chris is now following her with his own tales of his mother’s madness.
Daniel is forced to choose between his parents and their truths and what truly happened to the people he loved on the Farm.
Slow to begin with, this novel picks up speed and force as it builds its mystery with layer after layer of secrets and lies. You are left to wonder as Daniel must, is his Mom going mad or is his father a murderer?
You are witness as the family is torn apart by its own desire to find the truth in one another. Tilde’s descent into her convictions drag her son and husband down into the same abyss.
Daniel must face the reality and step into the past of his mother’s life to find out what created this break with reality. Or else, is it a break at all and is she correct.
A very good read.