The minutiae and messiness of family life as it comes together and unravels time and time again are delicately rendered in Tracy Farr’s second novel, The Hope Fault. The unrelenting rain that forms the lugubrious backdrop for much of the novel conjures up the same rich, atmospheric setting of the late Georgia Blain’s Between a Wolf and a Dog (2016), and suffuses the story with a sense of foreboding.
Farr’s five adult characters journey to an old seaside holiday house, peripheral to their existence yet laden with meaning, to prepare it for sale. The chief protagonist, Iris, sweeps through the house with her son Kurt, her niece Luce, her ex-husband Paul, his second wife Kristin, and their newly born child. A looming spectre is Iris’s mother, Rosa, an ailing matriarch living out her days in a retirement home.