The Loss Adjustor, By Aifric Campbell

Experience is no insurance against grief

Caro, the narrator of Aifric Campbell's poignant novel, works for an insurance company that offers both therapy and counsel, so that clients are both financially compensated and emotionally "adjusted" in the wake of a loss.

The irony is that Caro cannot come to terms with a bereavement; she lost a friend when she was in her teens, and, 20 years on, she remains unable to let go of her memory.

Like Esther Greenwood, the troubled protagonist of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, Caro describes her own psychological problems with detachment, and Campbell renders her inner voice in graceful prose: "Present moments dissolve, slipping by like fast-moving rapids, and I am washed up again in the lagoons of the past".

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