In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder. (2020).
(First published as Sixty Seconds in 2017).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Finn and Bridget, with their sons Jarrah and Toby, have moved from Hobart to subtropical Australia. They still feel like foreigners and are adjusting when one morning, tragedy strikes. In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened and who’s to blame? Finn is determined to protect his family and find himself under police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah has lost his innocence and faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.
Firstly I would like to acknowledge that I was very saddened to learn of this author’s passing in 2020 after reading this novel and looking her up; another writing talent lost too soon and no doubt heavily mourned by her loved ones. This is the first book by this author I’ve read and it was very powerful as well as very emotional. The novel looks at the after effects on a family following a sudden and tragic event. It was honestly heartbreaking even imagining. Reading the author’s note at the end and learning that a similar event occurred in her family made a lot of sense because the depictions of the family’s emotions felt so realistic and believable. It’s not easy to read but in another sense it made for compelling reading; I think as you read you are hoping that this family is going to make it through this traumatic experience. I appreciated that the story is told from multiple perspectives so the reader can experience the different forms grief can take depending on the person. I’d recommend this one for those looking for a contemporary domestic drama that explores the aftermath of personal tragedy.