At the End of the Day by Australian author Liz Byrski, is a heartwarming novel that explores the themes of love, relationships, family, and health in the context of aging. The story follows Mim and Mathias, two seventy-year-olds who meet by chance on a flight to Perth and embark on a new chapter in their lives together. Despite facing challenges from different angles, including family, work, and health, they are determined to make the most of their time together and find a happy balance.
Book review of At the End of the Day
Byrski’s skillful and sensitive treatment of her older cast of characters is one of the standout features of this novel. She portrays Mim’s health battles as a polio survivor with insight and compassion, and her depiction of older adults’ challenges is realistic and poignant. Through the experiences of Mim and Mathias, Byrski offers a thoughtful and nuanced portrayal of aging and the issues that affect older adults, such as social isolation, health concerns, and independent living.
Another strength of At the End of the Day is the author’s ability to create credible and engaging characters. Mim and Mathias are well-developed and likable; readers will quickly root for them. Byrski also does an excellent job of exploring the various relationships in the novel, from the romantic connection between Mim and Mathias to the friendships and family ties central to the characters’ lives. The relationships are portrayed with authenticity and sensitivity, making them relatable to readers of all ages.
The novel is set in Perth, Australia, and Byrski does a great job of capturing the local flavor and atmosphere of the city. The descriptions of the landscape and the people are vivid and evocative, and the setting adds depth and richness to the story. Readers familiar with Perth will appreciate the accuracy and authenticity of the portrayal, while those who are not will be transported to a new and intriguing location.
At the End of the Day deals with some heavy topics, such as illness, loss, and mortality, but Byrski balances these with moments of humor, hope, and optimism. The novel ultimately celebrates the life and the connections that make it meaningful, and readers will come away from it feeling uplifted and inspired. Byrski’s writing is tender, warm, and life-affirming and the novel is a pleasure to read.
Overall, At the End of the Day is a thoughtful and engaging novel that will appeal to readers of all ages. Byrski’s skillful portrayal of aging and the issues that affect older adults is particularly noteworthy, and her characters are well-drawn and likable. The Perth setting adds an extra layer of richness to the story, and the themes of love, relationships, and family are explored with sensitivity and depth. This novel will stay with readers long after they have finished reading it, and it will surely be a hit with fans of contemporary fiction.
If you enjoyed Liz Byrski’s At the End of the Day, you might also enjoy some of her other best-selling novels. One such novel is A Month of Sundays, which follows the lives of four women in their 60s who come together for a month-long retreat in the English countryside. Another of her popular works is The Woman Next Door, which explores the complex relationship between two women who have been neighbors for years. Both of these books, like At the End of the Day, offer thoughtful insights into the lives of older adults and showcase Byrski’s skill as a writer of contemporary fiction.