Book Review: Death and Forgiveness by Jindra Ticha
Anna is visiting Prague to nurse her dying mother, Hana, with her daughter Marie. On the night of the funeral, Anna receives a phone call from her son Joseph, and she learns her estranged husband, Jan, has committed suicide.
The story alternates between the present as Anna returns home for the funeral, and twenty years earlier when she was a young bride immigrating to New Zealand with her husband – a trip that took six weeks by sea.
Death and Forgiveness is a very perceptive novel that centers on themes of death and rebirth. Anna’s grief is complicated. Jan left her five years previously for a younger woman, but they are still legally married. But they had problems in their marriage from the beginning, and it was their decision to immigrate to New Zealand that saved their marriage, only for it to crumble years later with Jan’s betrayal.
This is a sombre, thought-provoking read, and Jinda Ticha writes so well it feels like she is telling you a personal story, when in fact, it is a work of fiction.