Having suffered in silence since the tragic death of their young daughter, Lola and Duncan Drummond's last chance to rediscover their love for one another lies in an anniversary holiday to the gorgeous Napa Valley. Unable to talk about what happened, Duncan reaches out to his wife the only way he knows how - he buys her a derelict house, the restoration of which might just restore their relationship. As Lola works on the house she begins to realise the liberating power of letting go. But just as she begins to open up, Duncan's life begins to fall apart.
Learning to Speak American is a beautifully written novel about a husband and wife who have tragically lost their daughter and are learning to live again alongside coping with their grief, but both Lola and Duncan are dealing with it in different ways.
The story is told from both Lola and Duncan's points of view so we get a good rounded picture of what is going on with both of the characters and this helped at times when I felt that I should be despising a character because of their actions but because we hear their thought process it certainly didn't make things except able but it made me understand the reason behind their actions.
This is such a tender and emotive read that has been so delicately written considering the topics that this book covers. The author really digs deep into the relationship between Lola and Duncan and you can see the mutual love and respect for each other but you could also see the cracks forming as the book progressed from the damage the grief had caused their relationship.
This isn't a book that is full of twists and turns it is a pure emotional journey through a relationship between two strong and caring people who try so hard to repair each other but is there too many cracks to repair or are somethings still worth fighting for?
Through all the heartache in this book there was some light which came in the form of the Treehouse and I loved seeing the change in Lola once she had this to focus on. She seemed to find comfort and solitude in the Treehouse and I longed to be their with her.
I found this a real endearing read with two characters who I loved equally but in different ways and yet had me questioning my own morals and how they would change if faced with the situation these characters found themselves in. I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for future books released by this author as this was a praiseworthy debut.