on March 12, 2012 :
Ann is an interesting woman. She is abruptly catapulted into single status by the former partner who is mostly "Ex" throughout the book, rather than named, in the first few lines. Ann manages to keep her work and personal life going, although it's clear to everyone, including her family, friends, we readers, & herself, that really she's not really engaged.
Then she loses her job, & that's another abrupt transition. Rosier shows us that it's happening, & we can see it coming - it's much less of a surprise to the reader than to Ann, who has been drifting.
But Ann has interests in painting & poetry, & now she has an opportunity to indulge her artistic interests as well as engage in an activity very familiar to many New Zealanders: visiting relatives (or friends) overseas.
In a not-unfamiliar literary mechanism, Ann gets to know more about herself as she gets to know some of these distant relatives. This is a conscious & deliberate process however: Ann knows she doesn't know quite who she may be in the future, now she's no longer got the established identities of partner & employment.
The pace of the novel varies, which is in keeping with Ann's emotional/mental state: sometimes a lot happens in short order, at other times small details take time to reveal themselves.
The story ends satisfactorily: not a "happy ever after", not absolutely settled, but with plenty of possibilities - for Ann as well as the reader.
One of the reasons for this [aside from Ann's own resources & resilience] is that she has the love & support of a wide range of family [wider range than she started with] & friends. Ann's interactions with NZ-based friends are not intensive - no surprise since for most of the novel she is traveling overseas: but the connection is there, & well-illustrated in a community birthday celebration.
A technical note: although I chose to [mostly] keep reading without checking references for books, poetry & art works on the first reading, I like that it's possible to easily follow those references up. And if the reader is online while reading, then connecting to the works or searches is even easier.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)