Review: The Other Ida – Amy Mason.

Her mother’s funeral is the tipping point in Ida Irons’ life, where she must face her family and past for the first time in years. Quickly approaching 30 and completely irresponsible, she lives in the shadow of her mother’s work, with her being the secretive writer Bridie Adair, who named her firstborn after her infamous, violent play. I’m named after a murderer, she frequently reminds herself.

Mason explores fractured family ties and past memories in order to question what really drove Ida to where she’s ended up in life, who her mother really was behind all of those lies she told, and most importantly: Who really was the other Ida?

Ida is soul searching, finding herself wondering that if the play is so terrible, then what does that make her? Troubled by alcohol and drugs, a less than adequate boyfriend, looked down on by her family for her life choices – what is she, if not a failure?

Mason connects you to the characters; Ida is emotionally damaged and has her fair share of baggage, but she incites a fierce desire to understand her troubles, and discover her real place in the world. Far from the tough and uncaring exterior she presents after hearing of her mother’s death, this book deconstructs her memories, unravels secrets that her mother had chosen to keep, on a journey to pinpoint not only this other Ida, but Ida herself.

Though it might sound from this that it’s all about Ida, the surrounding characters all have even the most subtle importance in her story. A warm book with a real charm to it, the reader becomes truly invested in understanding the Ida beneath the bravado.

[★★★★]
1st May 2015 | Cargo Publishing
@heathermmcd

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