Gone doesn’t mean forgotten.
When Alice Salmon died last year, the ripples were felt in the news, on the internet, and in the hearts of those who knew her best.
But the person who knows her most intimately isn’t family or a friend. Dr Jeremy Cook is an academic whose life has become about piecing together Alice’s existence in all its flawed and truthful reality.
For Cooke, faithfully recreating Alice’s life – through her diaries, emails and anything using her voice – is all-consuming. He does not know how deep his search will take him, or the shocking nature of what he will uncover
Alice drowned, and What She Left is a chronicle of her life told in the form of emails, letters and blog posts.
I took a while to get to grips with this book as it doesn’t really grab your interest at first. However I stuck with it and gradually became interested, the main reason being is that I wanted to know why University Professor Jeremy Cooke takes it upon himself to research, catalog and discover the facts about Alice’s life.
What She Left is written in the form of letters, blogs, texts and conversation with the people who are in Alice’s immediate circle. It also includes her writings for the newspaper she worked on as Chief Reporter. We find out that Alice’s mother had had an affair with Professor Cooke (not a spoiler) through letters written between them both.
We wonder whether Alice drowned as a result of an accident or something more sinister.
I was not enamored with this novel nor would I recommend it, however saying that, while I was reading I kept wondering what, why and whatever about it so I suppose the author has succeeded in keeping the reader engaged.