Lynn Gardner: The Builders


6.02.2013

The Builders


Jo, Bobby and Pat would never understand how comforting it was to sit and talk to Derek at the end of the day, and how much it had brightened up her life.

Up to now Nan had not wanted to go anywhere, meet anyone, or try anything new. In the year since she had left work she had got out of the habit of going out. She stayed in Number Fourteen waiting there in case the children called in.

The Builders tells the story of a lonely woman named Nan, long separated from her husband, with three grown up children who seem either to take advantage of her or condescend to her. Nan strikes up a friendship with one of the builders rehabbing the house next store and as their friendship begins to change into something more, so does her relationship with her children evolve.

The Builders is another of Gemma Media's Open Door Series' short low-literacy novellas. For something so slim, there's a lot going on and some of the character-development and plot twists felt a bit rushed. Indeed, it felt almost as if The Builders was meant to be the outline of a proper novel. While The Builders' a pleasant enough read, it left me wanting and I cannot honestly recommend it. Not the lunchtime read I hoped it would be.

The Builders by Maeve Binchy (Gemma Media, 2009)

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