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Book review: Days are Like Grass by Sue Younger

Convinced by her partner Yossi to leave London to return to New Zealand’s shores with her 15-year-old daughter, pediatric surgeon Claire Bowerman finally agrees – as long as he promises not to bring up her family. She’s uncomfortable being back in her home country, haunted by events from her childhood, but immerses herself in her work.

But when parents refuse to let her operate on their son – even though without surgery the boy will die, Claire finds herself in the media, accused of bullying. But this becomes the least of her worries when people from her past emerge, bringing to life painful events she would rather forget. Is her father innocent or guilty of murder? Sentenced to prison, but then pardoned, has justice really been served?

Sue Younger writes beautifully, and she has created complex characters to really care for. Claire, in particular, is a fascinating woman. Confident and able in her role as a surgeon, she is full of hidden turmoil about her childhood past. The plot is fast-paced, and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. But there is also a quiet elegance to the story that sparks many questions about how childhood shapes us as adults and how the past impacts on the present – even if we try to keep these worlds apart. I would definitely recommend this wonderful novel.


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