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Thursday 11 October 2012

Underground Nest by Kathleen Maher


I enjoyed this novella. At first, I didn’t like the main characters—Zach Severins is a rather arrogant ex-Boy Scout: precise, rather intolerant, a bit narrow-minded, overweight…and a wife-cheater.  His wife, Beth, is rather bland; his lover, Vida, is a little pompous, dominating, and selfish.  His children…well his children are over-indulged and consequently a tad precocious.

However, this rather ‘mechanical’ family unit is blown apart when Beth finds out about Zach’s affair. His children lose any regard for him, and things don’t go too well in his job or with his impatient lover. The upwardly mobile and successful Zach starts to fall apart and has to chase threads of what he’s about to lose to make things better in all areas of his life.

This is a neatly structured and well-balanced story, and what I liked was how this author so subtly managed to make such an unendearing bunch of characters more tolerable as the story unfoldseven likeable. You actually start to care about Zach and hope that things pan out for himso the ending creeps up on you very quietly and all of a sudden makes you sit up with a bit of a jolt.  Nicely done.