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In Dahlia's Wake    by Yona Zeldis McDonough order for
In Dahlia's Wake
by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In Dahlia's Wake is a story of the human condition. Told from the points of view of four people, the novel lets the reader see all sides of a tragic happening, and its rippling effects on others.

Rick and Naomi, whose marriage had fallen into complacency, are suddenly faced with the accidental death of their daughter Dahlia. Naomi pulls away from Rick and fights her personal battle to survive the tragedy. Rick finally seeks solace elsewhere. Michael, the doctor who told Rick and Naomi that their daughter was dead, is caught up in Naomi's misery and begins an affair with her while still trying to keep his marriage with Camille intact.

The repercussions of a simple motor vehicle accident (in which no should have been hurt, but which caused a death) spread far and wide. The author has no bias as she unwinds her tale. Instead, each character has the space to unfold their actions and reactions to a devastating loss - that of a seven year-old child.

What intrigues is the vast differences between these characters and how the events disastrously pull them together. And I liked the fact that perhaps the most insightful advice of In Dahlia's Wake is given by Naomi's mother who is suffering from dementia!

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